Old Groaners - some extracts

Here are some extracts from my book "Old Groaners".

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Why do some persons believe the moon to be made
of green cheese?
Because of the milky whey that surrounds it.

When is a ship no ship?
When she's astern.

When is a ship like snow?
When she's adrift.

When is a ship like a painter?
When showing colours.

When is a ship like an auctioneer?
When in full sail.

When is a ship like a mad bull?
When foaming at the head.

When is a ship like a lady in distress?
When missing stays.

When is a ship like a horse?
When taken aback.

When is a ship like a lion?
When in full roar.

When is a ship like a bird?
When flying before the wind.

When is a ship like a tailor?
When sheering off.

When is a ship like a recruiting-sergeant?
When beating up.

When is a ship like a floor?
When she's boarded.

Why is a ship never alone?
Because she has always a companion.

Why is a ship mischievous?
Because she is riggish.

Why are the fourteenth and fifteenth letters of the alphabet of greater importance than the rest?
Because there's no possibility of getting on without them.

What's that which all love more than life,
Fear more than death or mortal strife;
That which contented men desire,
The poor possess, the rich require,
The miser spends, the spendthrift saves,
And all men carry to their graves?

Nothing.

Where is mention first made of cricket in the Bible?
When Peter stood up for the eleven and was bold (bowled).

Which is the way to make your trousers last?
To make your coat and waistcoat first.

Why is a whisper unlawful?
Because it is not allowed (aloud).

Why is a lunatic equal to two men?
He is one beside himself.

If a tree is felled, why has it no right to complain?
Because it was axed.

Why is a stupid child learning music like a lawyer?
Because he looks at a flat and plays sharp.

Why is a cow's tail like a swan's bosom?
Because it grows down.

When is a horse like a herring?
When it is hard rode (roed).

What word of five syllables is that from which, if you take one syllable away, no syllable remains?
Mono-syllable (no syllable).

Why are Cashmere shawls like deaf people?
Because we cannot make them here (hear).

Why is the Bank of England like a piano-forte?
Because it issues forth notes.

Why is a starving person like a baker?
Because they both need (knead) bread.

What measure of liquids is most useful aboard ship?
An Anchor (Anker).

Why is a newspaper never white?
Because it's always read (red).

Why is a guinea in the distance not worth a penny?
Because it's only a far-thing

When I let a glass fall the other day, why was it like malt in brewing?
Because it's mashed (it smashed).

How long does it take to measure a yard?
Three feet.

What animal is there without which none of us could live?
The h(e)art.

When is a ship like a coat?
When it wears well.

Why are two ships like a game of chess?
Because they have four castles (forecastles).

When is a cask of ale like the number 20?
When it is XX.

Why is an urn like a soldier?
Because it stands at teas.

Why is the man who has picked someone else's pocket unlike an exhibitor in the Royal Academy?
Because he has not picked yours (pictures).

When are horses like fish?
When they take a bait and are pulled up.

Why is a day in term like a lark?
It is A-lau-da.

Why, if we intended eating a game-cock at two o'clock, should it follow that we must eat a species of Plyctolophus?
It would be a cock-a-too (cock at two.)

Why is one who lends an idiot a horse like a person who brings a sum to the total?
Because he gives a full (fool) a-mount.

Why are a number of people who have had a good dinner like the list at the beginning of a book?
Because they are a table of contents.

Why is a man taking a nap like a man reading a paper?
Because he's enjoying his (s)nooze.

Why is a particular spice superior to the most famous man in the world?
Because, however great a man may be, there is always a nutmeg-grater (greater).

When is a bee like a blossom?
When its (s)mell's sweet.

Why is the sound of a bell in a steeple like a youthful artist?
Because it is a spire-ring (aspiring).

What part of chemical apparatus is like a sharp reply?
The retort.

When does a person's head become floral?
When it becomes dazy (daisy).

Why is a church clock like a little boy after receiving a beating?
Because its hands move over its face about the I's (eyes).

Why are a Catholic chapel, a poor man, a barrel of ale, and a ferry-boat alike?
Because they all have their crosses.

What painter's name may be pronounced so as to express a period of time?
Teniers (ten years).

Why is a sailor who has been in the tropics like a Highlander in full costume?
Because he is tar-tanned (tartaned).

What is the difference between an emigrating Scotchman and Robin Hood's band?
One "gangs awa," the other was a gang.

What description of time-piece is like a parrot?
A repeater.

Why is committing a theft like a certain fish?
Because it is erring (herring).

Why is a French edict like a standard pint?
Because it is an imperial measure and a pint (point) of law.

What is the difference between a sonnet on a conspicuous article at a coronation and a pile of washed clothes?
One is lines on the throne, and the other is thrown on the lines.

What woven material is geographical?
Baize (bays).

If your brother's daughter were turned into stone, of what formation would she be?
Gneiss (niece).

When is an officer in the army like the symbol of an uncertain quantity in algebra?
When he is an n-sign (ensign).

Why is "was" like a soldier's life in war-time?
Because it's past in tense (passed in tents).

Why is a belief in ghosts like an inferior assistant at a theatre plying the needle?
Because it's a super-stitchin'.

When are screws like "four by honours?"
When you give them a twist (at whist).

Why is Louis Napoleon like an undressed member of Parliament?
Because he's an M.P. - raw (emperor).

Supposing a wife beats her husband, and he runs away, why is his action like a part of some watches?
Because it is a leave-her-escapement (lever escapement).

Why is a corn warehouse like Russia?
Cos sacks are there. (Cossacks).

Why is an unkind word from a friend like two cats receiving a beating?
Because it hurts the feelings (felines).

Why is the captain of a forlorn hope, in his selection of men, like a paviour?
Because he picks the bolder (boulder).

Why is a successful swindler at a rural town like a customer at an oyster saloon?
Because he takes in the natives.

What measure of capacity is of a sorrowful nature?
Tierce (tears).

Why is the best part of many melodies like entering a ball-room with the hat on?
Because it is in-de-chorus (indecorous).

Why is a Damascus blade like a good-natured man?
Because it has a fine temper.

Why is the letter L like a priceless gem?
Because it is invaluable (in valuable).

Why is a man who asserts his right to a certain letter of the alphabet like one who calls out?
Because he x claims (exclaims).

Why is a man walking on a narrow plank over a deep river like a traveller by train?
Because a rail is necessary.

Why is a rose like silence?
Because it gives a scent (assent).

If you were skating in company with your sweetheart, and she were to fall, what curious transformation would take place?
You would turn to a sister (assist her).

Let it be granted that you are a teetotaller. Why do you break your pledge every time your young lady leans on your arm?
Because you sup porter (supporter her).

Why should you think a young clergyman without a living would make a good arithmetician?
Because he's generally accurate (a curate).

Why is every sufferer from toothache a landed proprietor?
Because he possesses at least one acher (acre).

Why does a courteous gentleman put you in mind of the dog in the manger?
Because he's a fable (affable).

If a drunken coachman were trying to drive over a precipice, what heathen deity would the horses name, supposing they were endowed with speech?
They might say "Turn" (Saturn), or, more probably "Back us!" (Bacchus).

Why does every drunken man who is summoned belong to the peerage?
Because he's made a peer (appear).

Why can't the highest municipal authority be an equestrian?
Because a mare (mayor) can't be a good horse man.

Why are poultry always necessarily dirty?
Because they are foul (fowl).

What do we know of Adam and Eve that leads us to trace our origin to a fruit-tree?
We know they were originally the first pear (pair).

Why is a rifle battalion like apples and nuts?
Because it has its corps (cores) and its colonels (kernels).

What park is it that has no trees or turf in it?
A park of artillery.

How can you drink a bottle of ginger-beer without breaking the bottle, drawing the cork, or boring it?
By pushing the cork in.

When is grass in fashion?
When its all a mowed ( la mode).

What class of people would be the most appropriate and cheapest for housing troops?
Penny tents (penitents).

What sort of ball does our Poet Laureate resemble?
A tennis 'un (A. Tennyson).

Why is a man ascending Vesuvius like an Irishman trying to kiss a pretty girl?
Because he wants to get at the crater's mouth.

Why is necessity like a great many barristers?
Because it knows no law.

Why should a novel-writer be an extraordinary-looking animal?
Because of his tale coming out of his head.

What is the difference between a billiard-marker and a market-gardener?
One minds his peas, and the other minds his cues.

Why is a marriage certificate like the Times?
Because it is a news (noose) paper.

Why is a publican's trade a profitable one to follow?
Because, by conducting it with good spirit, he has more bar-gains than most others, and all the pull is on his side.

What animal has death no effect on?
A pig, because directly you have killed him you can cure him, and save his bacon.

What is the difference between photography and the hooping cough?
One makes fac-similes, the other sick families.

Why is the water in Liverpool docks like a respite to a condemned criminal?
Because it flows from Mersey.

Why are pawnbrokers like sisters of mercy?
Because they take great interest in serving the poor.

Why is a cat on its hind legs like the great Fall of Niagara?
Because it is a cat-erect.

Why are the makers of the Armstrong gun the greatest thieves in her Majesty's service?
Because they rifle all the guns, forge the materials, and steel all the gun-breeches.

Why does a donkey prefer thistles to corn?
Because he is an ass.

When is a school-boy like a postage stamp?
When he gets licked, and put in the corner, to make him stick to his letters.

Why do pioneers walk at the head of a regiment?
To axe (ask) the way.

When is a woman not a woman?
When she is a little chili; or when she is a bell; or when she becomes a bonnet; or when she is a-bed; or when she is a deer.
What is the difference between one who walks and one who looks up-stairs?
One steps up stairs, and the other stares up steps.

In what case is it absolutely impossible to be slow and sure?
In the case of a watch.

Why is love like an Irish poplin?
Because it is three parts stuff.

In what tone should a ghost always speak?
A tombstone.

Is there any difference between a baker and a beggar?
Very little: one is in want of bread, the other kneads it.

Why are ladies the biggest thieves in existence?
Because they steel their petticoats, bone their stays, crib their babies, and hook their eyes.

Why is an adjective like a drunken man?
Because it cannot stand alone.

"Samuel, can you tell me of what parentage was Napoleon the Great?"
"Of Cors-I-can."

What is the difference between a bee and a donkey?
One has the honey, and the other has the whacks.

Why is a sow a sow?
Because as how she is (a sow she is).

If a pretty poulteress marries a pill-monger, why may she be said to make a bad bargain of it?
Because she lets him have a "duck" and gets nothing but a quack in return.

When is an arm as long as three feet?
When it's a yard-arm.

Why is my tea like my pale brandy?
Because it is stolen by my landlady.

What is the difference between Handel and the grinder of a barrel-organ?
The one was a composer, the other is a discomposer.

Why are men-haters like mice in the West Indies?
Because they are mice-an'-tropical.

When does snow look most poetical?
When it is turned into rime.

What part of Pimlico best agrees with the digestion of its inhabitants?
That part which is eaten Square (Eaton Square).

When was King John most like dirty linen?
When he went into the Wash.

What is the worth of a letter that contains ten jokes?
A ten-pun note.

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