A joke is something spoken, written, or done with humorous intention. Jokes may have many different forms, e.g., a single word or a gesture (considered in a particular context), a question-answer, or a whole short story. The word "joke" has a number of synonyms, including wisecrack, gag, prank, quip, jape and jest.
To achieve their end, jokes may employ irony, sarcasm, word play and other devices. Jokes may have a punch line, i.e. an ending to make it humorous.
A practical joke or prank differs from a spoken joke in that the major component of the humour is physical rather than verbal (for example placing salt in the sugar bowl).
Famous quotes containing the word joke:
“All I can tell you with certainty is that I, for one, have no self, and that I am unwilling or unable to perpetrate upon myself the joke of a self.... What I have instead is a variety of impersonations I can do, and not only of myselfa troupe of players that I have internalised, a permanent company of actors that I can call upon when a self is required.... I am a theater and nothing more than a theater.”
—Philip Roth (b. 1933)
“You could read Kant by yourself, if you wanted; but you must share a joke with some one else.”
—Robert Louis Stevenson (18501894)
“Suppose the world were only one of Gods jokes, would you work any the less to make it a good joke instead of a bad one?”
—George Bernard Shaw (18561950)