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Joking decides great things,
Stronger and better oft than earnest can. ~ John Milton

Jesting or joking is engaging in humorous behavior, typically involving joking, bantering, and even ridicule or mockery.


  • Less at thine own things laugh; lest in the jest
    Thy person share, and the conceit advance,
    Make not thy sport abuses: for the fly
    That feeds on dung is colored thereby.
  • People that make puns are like wanton boys that put coppers on the railroad tracks.
  • Asperæ facetiæ, ubi nimis ex vero traxere,
    Acram sui memoriam relinquunt.
    • A bitter jest, when it comes too near the truth, leaves a sharp sting behind it.
    • Tacitus, Annales (AD 117), XV. 68.

Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical QuotationsEdit

Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 404-05.
  • A man who could make so vile a pun would not scruple to pick a pocket.
    • John Dennis, The Gentleman's Magazine, Volume LI, p. 324. Claimed for Daniel Purcell but given to Dennis by Hood, also by Victor in an Epistle to Steele.
  • And however our Dennises take offence,
    A double meaning shows double sense;
    And if proverbs tell truth,
    A double tooth
    Is wisdom's adopted dwelling.
  • Of all the griefs that harass the distress'd,
    Sure the most bitter is a scornful jest;
    Fate never wounds more deep the generous heart,
    Than when a blockhead's insult points the dart.
    • Samuel Johnson, London, line 165. Imitation of Juvenal, Satire, III. V. 152.
  • La moquerie est souvent une indigence d'esprit.
    • Jesting, often, only proves a want of intellect.
    • La Bruyère.
  • That's a good joke but we do it much better in England.
    • General Oglethorpe to a Prince of Würtemberg who at dinner flicked some wine in Oglethorpe's face, asserting the insult to be a joke Oglethorpe threw a whole wine glass in the Prince's face in return. Boswell's Life of Johnson (1772).
  • Diseur de bon mots, mauvais caractère.
  • Si quid dictum est per jocum,
    Non æquum est id te serio prævortier.
    • If anything is spoken in jest, it is not fair to turn it to earnest.
  • Der Spass verliert Alles, wenn der Spassmacher selber lacht.
  • A college joke to cure the dumps.

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