Posts tagged ‘one-liners’

Mathy One-Liners

To keep my edge, I read joke books and watch comedians. I modify the jokes I read and hear to fit my particular needs and, sometimes, I just steal a joke outright. I’d feel bad about doing this if I profited from it, but there is little to be gained by dropping a one-liner at a neighborhood happy hour.

I just finished 1001 One‑Liners and Short Jokes by Graham Cann. It compensates with quantity what it lacks in quality. Although most of the jokes are not good — and many rely on British English, and others reference British culture, so they’re lost on me — there are more than a few chestnuts in the mix. I used this modification of one of his jokes while having dinner with my in-laws recently:

I don’t like coffee. It’s just not my cup of tea.

It garnered guffaws from my mother-in-law and groans from my sons, so it had the intended effect.

Another joke from the book is mathematical:

When I was two, I was really anxious because my age had doubled in just one year. I thought, “If this keeps up, by the time I’m six, I’ll be 90!”

It’s a terrible joke, not least because I’m unaware of any toddler concerned about their age. But more importantly, it’s wrong. If your age doubled from one to two in a year, then it would double to four by age three, to eight by age four, to 16 by age five, and to 32 by age six. Graham Cann clearly hasn’t studied exponential growth.

The following are other mathy jokes from the book, most of which I’ve modified at least slightly.

  • I took an algebra test at school yesterday. My kleptomania is getting out of hand.
  • For the three o’clock race, I backed a horse at ten to one. It came in at a quarter past four.
  • One of every four frogs is a leap frog.
  • My gun is made from a dozen pigs. It’s a 12-boar.
Pie Rates of the Caribbean
  • Thirty percent of car accidents in Sweden involve a moose. I say it’s time that we stop letting moose drive. (For the record, that statistic is likely fabricated. It’s estimated that there are 4,500 car accidents involving moose every year, but there are far more than 15,000 car accidents annually.)
  • Did you hear about the constipated accountant? He tried to work it out with a pencil — but he couldn’t budget.
  • To the man who invented zero: Thanks for nothing.
  • Statistically, six of seven dwarfs are not Happy.
  • I, for one, like Roman numerals.
  • If every human in the world laid down end‑to‑end along the equator, most of them would drown.
  • Ninety-nine percent of politicians give the rest of them a bad name.
  • Light travels faster than sound, which is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.
  • I tried to change my password to “14 days,” but my computer said it was too week.

There were 288 others that I chose not to share, because they were two gross.

September 15, 2021 at 5:12 am Leave a comment

More Math One-Liners

As we were dressing to play in the snow, I asked my son Eli if I could wear his hat. His response was an emphatic, “No!” When I asked why, his one-liner response made me chuckle:

Because your chin is too far from your head.

Here are some other one-liners that I’ve always enjoyed.

Pure mathematicians are like lighthouses in the middle of a swamp — brilliant, but completely useless.

If God wanted us to use the metric system, why did Jesus have 12 apostles?

I’m not worried about losing my job to a computer. They’ve yet to invent a machine that does absolutely nothing.

For every complex mathematical problem, there is a simple and elegant solution that is completely wrong.

For every complex mathematical problem, there is a solution. The difficulty lies in finding it.

A mathematics lecture is a process for transferring the notes of the teacher to the notes of the student without passing through the minds of either.

In a graph, the thickness of the curve is inversely proportional to the reliability of the data.

Statistics are like a bikini — what they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.

January 24, 2011 at 12:27 am Leave a comment


I asked God for a good grade in math class, but I know God doesn’t work that way. So I cheated on my test and asked for forgiveness.

If you get depressed when you think about how dumb the average person is… then you’re probably horrified to realize that half the population is even dumber.

Light travels faster than sound, which is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.

People who take a long time computing the ratio of rise to run are slope pokes.

Having gone to school doesn’t make you a teacher any more than standing in a garage makes you a car.

To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism. To steal from many is research.

I should’ve known things weren’t going to work out with my ex‑wife. After all, I’m an introverted mathematician, and she’s a lying, cheating, good‑for‑nothing whore.

Mathematicians don’t suffer from insanity. They enjoy every minute of it!

If Bill Gates had a penny for every time I had to reboot my computer — oh wait, he does.

November 23, 2010 at 8:29 am Leave a comment

Random Thoughts

The following was sent to me by my friend Pat Flynn, and it may enter my email signature soon.

The derivative of my enthusiasm for mathematics is positive for all values of the independent variable.

And here are some one-liners that don’t warrant their own posts, but they’re just too good not to share…

Heisenberg might have slept here.

Old mathematicians never die; they just lose some of their functions.

Whenever four mathematicians get together, you’ll likely find a fifth.

“Take a positive integer n. No, wait, n is too large; take a positive integer k.”

August 17, 2010 at 11:15 pm 1 comment

About MJ4MF

The Math Jokes 4 Mathy Folks blog is an online extension to the book Math Jokes 4 Mathy Folks. The blog contains jokes submitted by readers, new jokes discovered by the author, details about speaking appearances and workshops, and other random bits of information that might be interesting to the strange folks who like math jokes.

MJ4MF (offline version)

Math Jokes 4 Mathy Folks is available from Amazon, Borders, Barnes & Noble, NCTM, Robert D. Reed Publishers, and other purveyors of exceptional literature.

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October 2021

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