Keepapitchinin, the Mormon History blog » Funny Bones, 1929

Funny Bones, 1929

By: Ardis E. Parshall - August 15, 2008

The Juvenile Instructor has plenty of Scotch jokes this time for Researcher:

True to Form

Helen: “So Peggy’s new boy’s a Scotchman. How does he treat her?”

Mabel: “Very reluctantly, I believe.”

The Last Word

Young Bragger – My grandfather built the Rocky Mountains.

Unsympathetic Listener – Aw! that’s nothing. Do you know the Dead Sea? Well, my grandfather killed it.

Cause for Merriment

Theophilus Whifflebaum had recently become the father of twins. The minister stopped him on the street to congratulate him. “Well, Whifflebaum,” he said, “I hear that the Lord has smiled on you.”

“Smiled on me?” repeated Whifflebaum, “He laughed out loud.”

The Last Laugh

“What a peculiar looking carpet that is under the elephant,” remarked a visitor to the circus.

“That’s no carpet,” corrected the elephant’s keeper. “That’s the man that gave the elephant a chew of tobacco.”

Another One of Them

A braw Scotchman was visiting Niagara Falls in the company of an American friend. As they watched the great rush of water, the latter said: “There’s a story that if you throw a penny into the Falls, it will bring you luck.” “Is thot so?” inquired the Scot. He considered a moment, and then asked hopefully, “Ha’ ye a bit o’ string?”

Had His Doubts

At the grave of the departed the old pastor stood hat in hand. Looking into the abyss he delivered himself of the funeral oration:

“Samuel Johnson,” he said sorrowfully, “you is gone. An’ we hopes you is gone where we ‘specks you ain’t.”

Why Not Use Her?

Building Foreman: “Excuse me, but are you the lady wot’s singing?

Lady: “Yes, I was singing. Why?”

“Might I ask you not to hold the high notes so long? The men have knocked off twice, mistaking it for the noon whistle.”

Mistaken Identity

Golfer: “Just look at that girl dressed like a man. What are her parents thinking of, anyway. I think it’s disgraceful.”

Partner: “That, sir, is my daughter.”

Golfer: “I beg pardon. I didn’t know you were her father.”

Partner: “I’m not. I’m her mother.”

Case for S.P.C.A.

“Quick, Sam, a wild cat just run into the house with your wife.”

“Wall, he’ll jes have to get out the best way he can.”

Too Cheap

“They say she always keeps her word.”

“She has to! Nobody else will take it.”

Oh, This Is Awful!

“Say, Mike, did you hear I had an air-tight dog?”

“No. What do you mean, air-tight?”

“Well, it’s half Airdale and half Scotch.”

A Customer Lost

Lady, entering a store: “What do your envelopes run at now?”

Smart Clerk: “They don’t run, ma’am. They are stationery.”


Hubby: “I miss the old cuspidor since it’s gone.”

Wife: “You missed it before – that’s why it’s gone.”

Same as of Old

Auto: “Love-making is the same as it always was.”

Matic: “How can you tell?”

Auto: “I’ve just read of a Greek maiden who sat and listened to a lyre all night.”

The Wrong Attribute

Customer – “I don’t like these pictures. They don’t do me justice.”

Photographer – “Justice? Lady, what you want is mercy.”

He Came Back

“No woman ever made a fool out of me.”

“Well, who did, then?”

Tender Memories

I rose and gave her my seat;
I could not let her stand.
She made me think of mother, with
That strap held in her hand.

She Lives Longer

A New York doctor says each kiss shortens a girl’s life 10 seconds. “My gosh,” cried Ouida, at the last party, “I’ve been dead 300 years.”

The Wrong Emphasis

“Do you think the candidate put enough fire into his speech?”

“Oh, yes. The trouble was, he didn’t put enough of his speech into the fire.”

The Scotch of It

Mrs. MacPherson (just at meal time) – Sandy, we have guests at the door.

Sandy – Grab a toothpick, quick!

A High Compliment

Does your mother ever pay you any compliments?” said Sam to his pal, Alexander.

“Only in the winter-time,” replied the other. When the fire gets low she says: ‘Alexander, the grate!’”

Language Lessons

Ikey and Izzy were separating, when Ikey said:

“Au revoir.”

“Vat’s dat?” said izzy.

“Dat’s goodbye in ‘french.”

“Vell,” said Izzy, “carbolic acid.”

“Vat’s dat?” asked Ikey.

“Dat’s goodbye in any lengvidge.”

Best for Seasickness

The late Dr. Heber John Richards was asked (before prohibition) by a friend who contemplated a trip abroad, what he should take for sea-sickness.

“Champagne,” answered the doctor.

“Champagne!” cried his friend. “Will that do any good?”

“No,” responded the doctor, “but it tastes better coming up than anything I know.”

Call the Cops

Rube: “What do you think about this here Evolution?”

Yokel: “It’s a good idea – but can they enforce it?”




  1. Ardis,
    Like eating peanuts. More! More!

    Comment by Bill MacKinnon — August 15, 2008 @ 6:23 am

  2. Wow. [Blush.] More Scottish jokes for my benefit. I’m flattered.

    My favorites in this collection were “Lady, what you want is mercy.” and “Alexander the grate!” And the image of the Scot at Niagra Falls.

    I can’t help adding a pedantic note: you don’t normally have to be PC about Northern Europeans, but Scotch is a kind of whiskey. They prefer Scot, Scots, or Scottish. The only place the term is commonly used is in the designation “Scotch-Irish” and there are debates about that use.

    Utah has one of the highest concentrations of Scottish ancestry in the United States, so these jokes would have been very pertinent to the population at that time.

    Comment by Researcher — August 15, 2008 @ 7:18 am

  3. Our two Scots heard from right at the top! (Make that three of us, since my great-grandmother was a Rankin.)

    Researcher, I actually debated how to refer to this type of joke because I do understand the Scots/Scotch difference. “Scottish” didn’t feel right because these jokes don’t reflect any reality I know of — can anybody say “Carnegie,” for starters? Finally settled on “Scotch” deliberately as being a word that is not accurately applied to people.

    This reminds me of John Paul II and the “Polish” jokes that were so rampant just before he became Pope. He was so instantly beloved that ethnic jokes of all kinds disappeared almost overnight, or at least that’s how I remember it.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — August 15, 2008 @ 7:31 am

  4. Thanks Ardis. This is fun. It has been a pleasant read for the morning, though I have to confess I had to look up cuspidor (spitoon). And although I knew what carbolic acid was (it is the chemical that gives scotch whiskey its special smell), I couldn’t recall how it was used relevant to the joke (lethal injections).

    Comment by BruceC — August 15, 2008 @ 7:46 am

  5. I remember hearing Polish jokes as a child and not since, and was wondering about that while I wrote out my comment. (Why can I joke about Scottish people but not blacks; Norwegians but not Poles?)

    Comment by Researcher — August 15, 2008 @ 7:52 am

  6. Even back when ethnic jokes were supposedly okay, my mother preferred that we make up a name when we told them: “How do you drive a Cuspidorian crazy? Put him in a round room and tell him to stand in the corner.” “Did you hear about the Cuspidorian who invented snow tires? His business failed when they melted.” “What’s the capital of Cuspidor? About 17 cents.”

    Bruce, I mostly know “cuspidor” from the Carmen parody: “Toreador, don’t spit on the floor, use the cuspidor, that’s what it’s for …”

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — August 15, 2008 @ 8:26 am

  7. I really liked the one about mistaken identity and the golfers.

    And I just can’t imagine a joke in church magazines nowadays that used the word love-making for any reason whatsoever.

    Comment by Mark IV — August 15, 2008 @ 8:53 am

  8. Mark IV, I read a piece in one of the church magazines yesterday — early 30s? — approving of some city’s new ordinance against love-making on park benches. It went on and on about youngsters making love, and old people making love in public, and every variation you could think of, and juvenile delinquent that I am, I giggled all the way through it.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — August 15, 2008 @ 9:52 am

  9. Researcher (#2), how about the pop-legal term “a Scotch verdict” (not proven)?

    Comment by Bill MacKinnon — August 15, 2008 @ 10:01 am

  10. Thanks for this, Ardis.

    Comment by Ben — August 15, 2008 @ 10:17 am

  11. Wow, Bill. We’re splitting hairs now. (Or hares if you want to bring rabbits into a discussion of a post that already includes an elephant, a wildcat and a dog.) There’s an old joke that “Scotch” should only refer to things that can be bought, such as whiskey, eggs, and politicians. Perhaps a verdict falls within this category. :-)

    Comment by Researcher — August 15, 2008 @ 10:26 am

  12. Ah, Mark IV (and Ardis):

    Love-making didn’t become a euphemism for sexual intercourse until well after 1930, so the reference was completely harmless. And you can stop your giggling! :-)

    As to the Scot/Scotch distinction–I’ll have to ask my son-in-law (a Canadian Campbell he, but thoroughly in love with his Scottish heritage) when he visits next week what the proper usage is, since we English don’t really care and it’s too hard to remember. (My wife’s family–at least her father’s line–is from just outside Glasgow, so I’d best not let her see this!)

    How does hopscotch fit into this discussion?

    I do remember someone in church once–could it have been Ivan J. Barrett?–talking about his family’s heritage, where he said some ancestors were from England, and he had a quarter English in him, etc., etc., and it ended with his telling that his grandfather was from Edinburgh and so he had a fifth of scotch in him.

    Comment by Mark B. — August 15, 2008 @ 10:38 am

  13. If you split a hare, Researcher, I’ll call the SPCA out on you.

    Comment by Mark B. — August 15, 2008 @ 10:38 am

  14. The OED defines “make love” as “to pay amorous attention; now more usually, to copulate.”

    Clinical, eh?

    Their first cited use of the term in the “now more usually” sense was 1950. Somebody with a Dictionary of Euphemisms should do some further research, to see if we can find out when the tide turned on this one.

    Comment by Mark B. — August 15, 2008 @ 10:46 am

  15. Ardis,

    Loved this. I have Scottish ancestry pretty heavily on my Mom’s side, and I went to Ben Lomond High School in Ogden, home of the Scots! I actually wore a kilt to school for Scots Week (bought at the DI, of course, and then returned a week later!) During Scots Week, we had the Gathering of the Clans, highlighted by a root beer drinking contest, complete with plastic tarps and several large buckets, to see who could drink the most A&W root beer in 5 minutes.

    Comment by kevinf — August 15, 2008 @ 10:50 am

  16. Mark B., you’re gonna love a post I’m working on for next week …

    According to these jokes, kevinf, your DI purchase betokens your ancestry, but how do you explain re-donation of the kilt a week later? Hm?

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — August 15, 2008 @ 11:08 am

  17. Ardis, I’m not through reading them all yet, but I burst out laughing at this line:

    “Samuel Johnson,” he said sorrowfully, “you is gone. An’ we hopes you is gone where we ‘specks you ain’t.”

    That alone is priceless.

    Comment by Ray — August 15, 2008 @ 1:06 pm

  18. OK, I just finished. Ardis, this one is my favorite yet. I’m still laughing as I type. The seasickness one and the one about the golfer – and . . .

    Simply wonderful.

    Comment by Ray — August 15, 2008 @ 1:10 pm

  19. #8 – Any chance of posting that in the future? I’d LOVE to read it without having to do any work and actually look it up or follow a link. :)

    Comment by Ray — August 15, 2008 @ 1:13 pm

  20. OK, this is four in a row (sorry), but I graduated from Payson High School back in its band glory days – where our small school state champion marching band included bagpipes and Scottish drummers (who regularly beat adult Scottish association groups in spearate competitions). Danny Boy played as the closer of the performance, with the band fanning out and the pipes and drummers marching forward through the opening, is a musical experience I will never forget. “Powerful chills” doesn’t even begin to describe it, and the audience response was magical no matter where we were.

    Does that count for someone whose maternal grandparents were a Westover and a Hudson?

    Comment by Ray — August 15, 2008 @ 1:23 pm

  21. Nope. Danny Boy is an Irish tune. Nice try.


    Comment by Researcher — August 15, 2008 @ 1:29 pm

  22. But shouldn’t all Celts hang together? (I can hear the Angles adding: We don’t mind if they hang separately.)

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — August 15, 2008 @ 1:33 pm

  23. Researcher (#11), re “bought” juries, are you a Scottish Barrister or that lower form of animal life, an English Solicitor?
    /s/ Son of the Inner Hebrides

    Comment by Bill MacKinnon — August 15, 2008 @ 1:56 pm

  24. True, Researcher. True.

    Ardis, my twisted brain said, “Many Brits thought so,” when I read your question. Shame on me as a Brit descendant?

    Comment by Ray — August 15, 2008 @ 1:58 pm

  25. Mark B. (#12), “hopscotch”! That’s catchy. Is it a girls game or a beverage of Celtic-Teutonic derivation that, like the American “boilermaker,” combines drams of beer and whiskey?
    /s/ Kiltic

    Comment by Bill MacKinnon — August 15, 2008 @ 1:59 pm

  26. Damn, Ardis. You beat me to it. I don’t give a fig leaf (or a sporran, for that matter) if all the Celts hang, together or separate.

    Actually, I’m just kidding. With a wife who’s a Nish (MacNeish several generations ago), a grandmother who was a Maxwell, a grandfather who was a Hughes (can anyone say Carmarthenshire?–we are including the Welsh in that Celtic mob, aren’t we?) and a son-in-law who’s a Campbell, I’m up to my ears in Celtishness.

    But, the good Butler family from Hertfordshire runs at the top of the pedigree chart.

    Comment by Mark B. — August 15, 2008 @ 2:19 pm

  27. These are even better than before! Keepemcomin =)

    Comment by Tatiana — August 15, 2008 @ 7:52 pm

  28. Where does the term “scotched” — as in the English once again narrowly succeeeded in scotching a quiet attempt by a Glaswegean shipbuilder to purchase the second mortgage on Buckingham Palace — fit into all this parsing of my second language?

    Comment by Bill MacKinnon — August 15, 2008 @ 8:17 pm

  29. Tatiana, wouldn’t, “Keepemcominin,” be more accurate?

    Comment by Ray — August 15, 2008 @ 8:31 pm

  30. heh, heh — I don’t know when the word came from, Bill, but I’d sure like to know the story behind your illustration!

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — August 15, 2008 @ 8:33 pm

  31. It’s easy. “Scotched” came from the same place that “welshed” did.

    From the English.

    Rule, Britannia!

    Comment by Mark B. — August 15, 2008 @ 8:39 pm

  32. I found my heart oddly longing for something this, dare I say it, mature in the New Era…

    Comment by Matt W. — August 15, 2008 @ 10:27 pm

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