Dawn Reader

Dawn Reader
from Open Door Coffee Co.; Hudson, OH; Oct. 26, 2016

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Vocab Jokes, Part I

As the years rolled along at Harmon (Middle) School, where I taught seventh and eighth graders, I sought new ways to keep myself sane while teaching vocabulary.  One of the ways--making up stupid jokes about the words.  Puns.

When I would dictate the words on the weekly quizzes (students had to spell the word, write a definition, use the word in a sentence that revealed the word's meaning--no One-of-my-favorite-words-is-sojourn kinds of sentences), I would sometimes, when I could think of something, make up a pun by using the word in a sample sentence.

Here are some actual examples from the eighth-grade list:

1. lucid: Did you hear what lucid? (what Lou said?)
2. implore: The man was implore health.
3. amiable: Is Amy a bull or a cow?
4. alacrity: Alacrity, but I love her coffee. (I like her tea ...)
5. cremate: The cremate the cow.
6. pious: The Three Stooges tried to pious. (pie us)
7. ensue: Jack the Ripper put a knife ensue. (in Sue)
8. sordid: I sordid my homework. (sorta did)
9 assent: The workman didn't charge assent.
10. qualify: The Australians rounded up all the little bears, built a fire, and had a qualify (koala-fry).  This one caused me a little trouble when a student, Shannon, a lover of koala bears (they adorned her folders), gave me a (feigned) shocked look and told me it wasn't funny.  (Everyone else was laughing.)
11. tyrant: Instructions for killing a runt: Tie runt to railroad tracks.
12. detain: Detain went down de tacks.
13. confound: The con found a way out of prison.
14. ascertain: Ascertain pulled out of the station, she waved good-bye.
15. assail: Assail my boat on Saturday. (I sail ..)
16. pampered: Pam purred when I gave her flowers.
17. misdemeanor: Miss, the meaner you get, the sadder I get.

Well, they're horrible, I know--but they elicited groans from generations of eighth graders--so that's good, right?

More of this from my eleventh-grade list tomorrow ...

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1 comment:

  1. Ohhh, great minds think alike. I have a horrible habit of playing with words and names.

    In fact I could use your help with my poet's menus on my blog . . .

    That said, I love these.