Tongue in Cheek

Having recently fallen foul of the misunderstanding between the American and British sense of humour, I have been trying to get some thoughts together to describe what British humour is.

Often called tounge-in-cheek or dry, subtle:

Tongue-in-cheek
is a term that refers to a style of humour in which things are said only half seriously, or in a subtly mocking way

Dry humour is humour told in a “dry” way, without emotion, e.g. seriously. So you tell a joke like it’s not a joke, in a matter-of-fact kind of way.

  • Humorous or sarcastic in a shrewd, impersonal way.
  • dry is really no more than a clever circumlocution or a punch line that doesn’t need to be said.
  • Deadpan is a form of comedic delivery in which something humorous is said or done by a person, while not exhibiting a change in emotion or facial expression.
  • Playing with words and meanings. Using double meanings.

Subtle

  • So slight as to be difficult to detect or describe; elusive:
  • Difficult to understand; ambiguous:

To me American and Canadian humour is right in your face and not very subtle. Sorry folks I don’t find North American humour funny or at least not very often but British humour is often misunderstood and taken for insult when none was intended.

4 Responses

  1. Hmm how to define British humour? heavy dose of sarcasm has to be in there.
    Claire

  2. I liked Benny Hill and Monty Python. Benny Hill had to be the corniest stuff I’ve ever seen in my life but it was funny. Pretty much the same with Monty Python. I can’t imagine a steady diet of that stuff though. Every country has different tastes.

  3. Monty python corny? i dont think so!
    Claire

  4. I like British humor very much but I also like American or North American humor too. I love sarcastic humor though!

    At supper tonight, my son was here along with my older daughter and her fiance. Now the older girl loves to harass her brother, unmercifully at times. And also, at times, she has a tendency to take things over the edge to and the result can then be hurt feelings but you don’t dare let her know that something she did/said had that affect or she will take note of that as it being your sore spot and her picking there will then increase. (But you don’t dare do this to her.)

    My son made a comment to her about tonight was going to be “all in fun, no hurts” and she laughed, but agreed. Next one of them said something about the definition of dysfunctional family and I made the suggestion that the definition of dysfunction is “E.R.T.M.E.R.” – which is our last name and they loved that. And it’s true too! We are that, very dysfunctional as families go, but enjoy calling it out and making fun of it all the same.

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