The Borneo Post - Good English

Vocabulary items related to humour


This is a list of Humour:

Humour is the tendency of particular cognitive experience­s to provoke laughter and provide amusement.

Sense of humour:

A sense of humour is the ability to experience humour.

“He’s got a great sense of humour” (= he is very able to see things as amusing.)


A person who writes or tells amusing stories


Funny, or making you laugh.

“Her latest book is a humorous look at teenage life” Amusing:

Entertaini­ng. “an amusing story/person/ situation”


1. Any humorous discourse generally intended to amuse, especially in television, film, and standup comedy.

2.The amusing part of a situation.

“I prefer Shakespear­e’s comedies to his tragedies.”

“The candidate forgetting his lines in the middle of the speech provided some good comedy.” Comedian:

A person whose job is to make people laugh by telling jokes and amusing stories or by copying the behavior or speech of famous people: “a stand-up comedian.”

Black humour:

An amusing way of looking at or treating something that is serious or sad.


To make a joke or a clever remark. “He’s always cracking jokes.”


Amusing, especially in an unusual way. “A droll remark/ expression/person.”

Dry humour:

Dry humour is very amusing in a way which is clever and not loud or obvious:

“a dry sense of humour.”

“a dry wit.”


Not serious about a serious subject, in an attempt to be amusing or to appear clever:

“Facetious remarks.”

“He’s just being facetious.”


Amusing; causing laughter:

“Do you know any funny jokes?”

“It’s not funny - don’t laugh!”

“No matter how disastrous the situation there always seems to be a funny side to it.”


A joke or funny story, especially one told by a comedian (= person whose job is to make people laugh):

“I did a few opening gags about the band that had been on before me.”

Gallows humour:

Jokes or humourous remarks that are made about unpleasant or worrying subjects such as death and illness


Extremely amusing and causing a lot of laughter:

“He didn’t like the film at all - I thought it was hilarious.” Jest:

Something which is said or done in order to amuse: “His proposal was no jest - he was completely sincere.” Joke:

Something, such as an amusing story or trick, that is said or done in order to make people laugh:

“Did I tell you the joke about the chicken crossing the road?”

“She spent the evening cracking (= telling) jokes and life telling funny stories.” trivia “He tried n. unimportan­t to do a comedy or useless routine, informatio­n but all his jokes fell flat” (= no one laughed at them).

Don’t you get (= understand) the joke?


To smile while making sounds with your voice that show you think something is funny or you are happy:

“They laughed at her jokes.”

“I couldn’t stop laughing.”


A way of criticizin­g people or ideas in a humorous way, or a piece of writing or play which uses this style. Satire may rely more on understand­ing the target of the humour, and thus tends to appeal to more mature audiences. :

“Political satire.”

“Her play was a biting/cruel satire on life in the 80s.”


The ability to perceive and express in an ingeniousl­y humorous manner the relationsh­ip between seemingly incongruou­s or disparate things.


Choose the appropriat­e words:

1. He’s very funny. Whenever I meet him, he ........... ...a joke. He really has a good of humour .

2. Charlie Chaplin was one of the most creative ...........

3. Keep your ........... remark for you. You know. It’s not very funny.

4. The show was ........... . It just caused a lot of ........... in the audience.

5. The president’s .......... speech attracted a lot of admiration.

6. He is very ............ He makes me laugh a lot.

7. Black humour is a way of looking at ........... events in an amusing way.

8. A piece of writing or play which criticizes people or ideas in a humorous way is called ...........

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