Is It Time To Stop Using The Term ‘Dad Jokes?’

I’m a dad. I think I’m funny; sometimes. I like to tell jokes. I like to make up my own jokes. Are they funny? Not always, but they must have been funny to me. I have only been a dad for just over six years, but I have telling ‘Dad Jokes’ for what seems like a lifetime. Well, my lifetime at least. But have you ever wondered what constitutes a Dad Joke?

Firstly, let me offer this definition of what Dad Jokes are all about;

A lame, embarrassing or unfunny joke told by someone’s father.”

That definition is very negative. So what exactly IS a ‘Dad Joke?’

Puns are the most common type of Dad Jokes told. Puns are based on word play using words that are homophones (words that are pronounced the same but have different meanings), homographs (words that are written the same but have different meaning), and heteronyms (words that are written identically but has a different pronunciation and meaning).

Dad Jokes can be quite clever and well thought out. Some Dad Jokes take a knowledge of esoteric things like Star Wars, The Simpsons, sports stars or current news topics. Dad Jokes could also be Nerd Jokes.

Dad Jokes can be quite childish and therefore pander to the taste of children. Younger children. In fact Dad Jokes might be the sort of jokes you would find in a joke book for children. I remember borrowing a kid’s joke book from my school library when I was about seven or eight years old. Actually I borrowed that book on more than one occasion. Maybe even half a dozen times. This was my favourite joke in the book and one that I’ve told my kids a few times;

Q. What time is it when an elephant sits on your fence?
A. Time to get a new fence.

And then your kids grow up; they become teenagers and learn that there’s “supposed to be” a divide between one’s parents and their good self, and suddenly Dad Jokes go from being funny to being lame. And to a teenager, dads are lame, right Phil Dunphy?

Phil Dunphy Laughing
Modern Family’s Phil Dunphy – Is he King of the Dad Joke or merely the Court Jester?

But mums are lame too, aren’t they? And mums are funny too, right? Surely mums can make lame jokes as well, can’t they? I know my own wife does. Maybe not as much as I do, but she definitely can tell a joke or say something mildly amusing that can make us roll our eyes.

Seeing that the modern father takes on more roles within the family home, many that were the “traditional” role of the mother (refer this website with a fantastic info-graphic that was published just last week), surely the modern mothers are now taking on some of the roles of the father including telling lame jokes.

I know Roseanne Barr might agree with that;

“The quickest way to a man’s heart is through his chest.”

“The quickest way to a man's heart is through his chest.” - Roseanne Barr
“The quickest way to a man’s heart is through his chest.” – Roseanne Barr

Much in the same way us dads would prefer parenting publications to address “parents” rather than mothers all the time, surely it’s time we drop this term “Dad Jokes” and call them “Parent Jokes” or get rid of the personification of the joke and just say “that’s a lame joke.”

Because that’s all they are.. Just lame jokes.

So who is the joker in your household? I know that some single mothers read my blog so if you are one, have you taken up the position as the lame joke teller?

2 thoughts on “Is It Time To Stop Using The Term ‘Dad Jokes?’

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