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22 Humour British English Lessons

These English Lessons are built around English jokes. The jokes may be old or new; they may be very funny or just amusing. The language of the joke is explored and you will begin to understand a very important aspect of the English language - humour. Many students of English, be they students of English as a second language or of English as a foreign language, find it very difficult to "get" English jokes. British humour has a strong satirical element aimed at showing the absurdity of everyday life. A lot of English humour depends on cultural knowledge and the themes commonly include the British class system, wit, innuendo, to boost subjects and puns, self-deprecation, sarcasm, and insults. As well as this, English humour is often delivered in a deadpan way or is considered by many to be insensitive. A particular aspect of British English humour is the humour of the macabre, were topics that are usually treated seriously are treated in a very humorous or satirical way.

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10 of our 22 Humour British English Lessons

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Alaska

This Alaska joke gets its humour from the pronunciation features of British English. If you understand the rhythm of English and how weak and strong syllables behave when we speak, you will be able to understand the humour of this joke. The Britlish Library lesson explains how and why the joke is funny and gives you plenty of exercises to help you learn, remember, and use these pronunciation features.


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Archie Grump Teaches the English of Debt

This Activation Pack will help you to learn some of the vocabulary we use for talking about debt. You will not only learn about debt now and in the past, but also vocabulary items such as, afford, bank manager, bitter, borrow, buy, checks, cost, debt, do without, essential, every Tom, Dick and Harry, gallon, interest, left over, lend, luxury, money, on the never-never, on tick, pay back, pay off, penny, ploughman's lunch, pub, save up, scrimp and save, shilling, thrill, and willy-nilly. Based on the rantings of the elderly Archie Grump, you can watch a video, read and listen to the script, and then answer questions about the vocabulary in the script.


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Buttercup

A lot of jokes in English depend for their humour on the way completely different words can sound identical due to the speech features we find in spoken British English. This is one of those jokes. Listen to the joke and then do the exercises so that you can learn about why it is so funny. English humour can be difficult for non-native English speakers. This is why simple English jokes are a very good way of teaching vocabulary, and why I’ve chosen a very simple joke for this lesson. I’m not going to write the joke here as it depends for its humour entirely on a homophone.       


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Decomposing - English Joke

The British English vocabulary included in the exercises in the Britlish library includes deactivate, debrief, debug, decommission, decompile, decompose, decompress, deforestation, demoralize, demystify, denature, and desaturate. English humour can be difficult for non-native English speakers. This is why simple English jokes are a very good way of teaching vocabulary, and why I’ve chosen a very simple joke for this lesson. The joke goes: Good heavens! When you stand here next to Beethoven’s grave, you can almost hear his music, only it seems to be playing backwards. What on earth could be causing that? Well, it’s obvious, isn’t it? What is? He’s decomposing. This humour may leave many students scratching their heads. First, watch the video and see if you understand where the humour comes from in this British English joke. Then, do the exercises in the Britlish Library and learn why this joke is funny. The exercises will also help you with the vocabulary of words which begin with the Latin prefix de- meaning undoing or reversing the action of a verb.       


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Dog Bite

I’ve chosen a very simple joke for this lesson. The joke involves an unfortunate occurrence that arises from a misunderstanding over the ownership of a vicious dog and shows the problems students of English can face when using possessive adjectives. English humour can be difficult for non-native English speakers. This is why simple English jokes are a very good way of teaching vocabulary, and why The lesson has exercises that will help you to correctly use possessive adjectives like my, your, her, his, its, our, and their, as well as possessive pronouns like mine, yours, his, hers, ours, and theirs.        


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Honeycomb Joke

The British English vocabulary included in the exercises in the British library includes bomb, bumble, cake, cell, climb, comb, crumb, debt, doubt, dumb, hive, know, lamb, limb, money, numb, parallel, plate, plumb, son, starchy, steamy, sticky, stodgy, streaky, subtle, teeth, thumb, tomb, and wax. English humour can be difficult for non-native English speakers. This is why simple English jokes are a very good way of teaching vocabulary, and why I’ve chosen a very simple joke for this lesson. The joke asks, Why do bees have sticky hair? The answer, because they use honeycombs, will leave many students scratching their own heads. First, watch the video and see if you understand where the humour comes from in this British English joke. Then, do the exercises and learn why this joke is funny. The exercises will also help you with pronunciation issues, particularly with the silent B in words such as comb and many others.         


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Just for Laughs 1

I’ve chosen 7 short British English jokes for this lesson. These 7 English jokes will help you understand English humour and improve your vocabulary. English humour can be difficult for non-native English speakers. This is why simple English jokes are a very good way of teaching vocabulary, and why  They will also show you how British English humour depends on word play, puns, and pronunciation, as well as the multiple meanings of some English words. There are exercises to go with each joke which will help you to really understand there the humour comes from. By mastering English humour, you will be developing your English skills in an enjoyable and memorable way. 


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Minute and Minute - Homographs

In this lesson, we will look at two of my video English lessons, one showing you how homonyms can be the basis for English jokes, and the other looking at the two words minute and minute. If you don’t know why these two words are different, then this lesson is certainly for you. The first video takes just one minute and 216 words to teach you all about the words minute and minute. The other video is a fun joke to help you understand why Tony's pet newt is called Tiny. After you have watched the videos, we will look at some of the more common homographs in English like: bass, bow, close, content, desert, incense, insult, invalid, object, read, row, suspect, tear, wind, and wound.  


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Parrot

I’m not going to write the punchline of the joke here, but the tag line is What’s orange and sounds like a parrot? English humour can be difficult for non-native English speakers. This is why simple English jokes are a very good way of teaching vocabulary, and why I’ve chosen a very simple joke for this lesson. You can listen to the joke here and then do the exercises where you can learn about why it is so funny. You will also learn about how word play and the double meaning of words in English are the basis for much of its humour. There are interactive exercises in this lesson that will help you to see why this joke is funny.        


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Parsimonious

Whether you have money or not, there is a lot of vocabulary in English to do with it. This lesson will help you talk about being careful with your money to being miserly with it. Whether you are generous with your money, or a total Scrooge, you will find the vocabulary in this lesson useful.


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10 of our 22 Humour British English Lessons


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