1907 Where had the kidney bean? To see the scarlet runner.
1903 When a young man and his best girl get into a swing, it is remarkable how they will mix up oscillation with osculation.
1903 Q: What does the child receive for free, the young man steal, and the old man buy? A. A kiss.
1903 Which is the most war-like nation? Vaccination. Why? Because it’s always in arms.
1903 ‘See here, waiter, I’ve found a button in my salad.’ - ‘That’s all right, sir, it’s part of the dressing.’
1903 Marriage is an institution intended to keep women out of mischief and get them into trouble.
1897 I wish I knew how to tell a woman’s age. — The best way is to tell it in a soft and gentle whisper.
1897 Our servant lighted the fire with parafiin oil. — Did you discharge her? — We haven’t found her yet.
1896 SERVANT: ‘Ma’am, your husband has eloped with the cook!’ WIFE: ‘Good! Now I can have the maid to myself, once in a while.
1896 Is it correct to speak of a sick lawyer as an ill legal man?
1896 ‘Sadly, my husband hasn’t done much for these last 25 years.’ - ‘Is he an invalid, then?’ - ‘No, he works for the government.’
1895 SNAPP is one man who knows how to manage his wife. What’s his scheme? Let her have her own way always.
1895 ‘Anna, what must you do before everything else, to have your sins forgiven?’ Anna: ‘Commit the sin.’
1895 About the only thing that prevents some men from telling bare-faced lies is a moustache.
1895 A suitable wife for an athlete would be a dumb bell.
1895 A society lady describing a grand ball to a friend was asked how she was dressed. ‘Low - and behold,’ was the response.
1895 The cabman has the only business in which you can drive your customers away and keep them, too.
1895 A morally-conducted family should have an upright piano.
1894 DEFINTIONS: A tumbler full of whisky. - A drunken gymnast.
1894 Yes, Roberts fell off a 50ft ladder, wasn’t hurt a bit. I don’t believe it! Quite true, fell off the bottom rung.
1894 Mrs. A.: ‘The piano next door makes me swear every time I hear it played.’ Mrs. B: ‘That’s odd - it’s an upright piano.’
1893 ‘How did you come out of that scrape with your wife?’ ‘As usual, I apologised for being right.’
1893 What interjection is of the feminine gender? A-lass!
1893 Son: ‘What makes the world go round, Papa?’ Father:’Usually about four whiskies, my boy.’
1893 What cannot a gentleman possess a short walking-stick? Because it can never be-long to him!
1893 What is the proper way of addressing the Admiral of the Fleet? — Your warship.
1893 Why is the medical profession the most tedious? Because it requires more patients than any other.
1893 Why is the polka like bitter beer? - Because it contains so many hops.
1893 Why are young ladies like arrows? Because they are all aquiver in the presence of a beau.
1893 He: ‘Does a girl get mad if you kiss her without asking?’ She: ‘Not so much as if you ask her without kissing.’
1893 Mr. Dolley (bitterly): ‘You refuse me, but you never refused my presents!’ Miss Gilgal: ‘Well, they were of some value.’
1892 Why are bachelors like criminals? Because they hate to go into court.
1892 There’s a man at Camberwell so fat that they grease the omnibus-wheels with his shadow.
1892 Life is short - a four letter word. Three quarters of it is a ‘lie’ and half of it an ‘if.
1892 If you pine to be introduced to a rich timberman’s daughter, see that you look spruce.
1891 Mrs. A. What black eyes that baby has! Mrs.B: Yes, his father is a pugilist.
1891 Q. Why do they make straw hats in summer? A. Because they aren’t felt.
1891 HE: ‘I am a millionaire. Haven’t I got money enough for both of us?’ SHE: ‘Yes, if you are moderate in your tastes.’
1891 Doesn’t it make you dizzy to waltz? Yes, but one must get used to it, you know. It’s the way of the whirled.
1890 WIFE: ‘You loved me before we were married!’ HUSBAND: ‘Well, now it’s your turn!’
1890 Why is a hen immortal? Because her son never sets.
1890 JOHN: ‘Elvira, do you love me or is it my money?’ ELVIRA: ‘John, I love you both.’
1890 In this little casket I have preserved all these years the dearest remembrance of my honeymoon. The hotel bill.
1890 The intention of fencers is each to touch their opponent; but in this they are often foiled.
1890 ‘I never see you at the play nowadays’ — ‘I prefer to stay at home.’ — ‘Ah, I suppose you think there’s no plays like home.’
1890 The undertaker’s favourite sport is boxing.
1890 Did you ever notice that tall girls often marry beneath them?
1885 Soldiers will not read Robinson Crusoe, because it is the work of De Foe.
1885 The blonde is not in fashion and the brunette has come again. Blondes must dye.
1885 Mountains may not have mouths or noses, but there are plenty of mountaineers.
1885 Which is heavier, the half moon or the full moon? The half moon, because the full one is twice as light.
1885 What servants do stationers mostly keep? … Pages.
1884 A happy set of men : Soldiers in transports.
1881 Q. In which part of the house would mesmeric operations be conducted with greatest success? A. The en-trance hall.
1875 There is a man in New York so fat that a child was recently killed by his shadow falling on it.
1872 ‘Say, boy, what is the quickest way to the railway-station?’ — ‘Run.’
1871 There’s a great love of home amongst rabbits, even though they run down their own burrows.
1870 What word may be pronounced quicker by adding an extra syllable? ‘Quick’.
1869 Q. Why is a man fond of writing like a cheap form of river travel? A. Because he’s a pen-esteemer.
1865 Women, like historians, think no age so barbarous as the middle ages.
1865 What is the difference between two mermaids and spring & summer? The former are two sea-daughters, the latter two sea-sons.
1865 ‘Is there much fish in your bag?’ asked the woman of the fisherman. ‘Well, there’s a good eel in it.’
1864 Why is a field of grass like someone older than yourself? Because it is pasturage.
1864 A lady wrote the following letters at the bottom of her flour barrel: O I C U R M T.
1864 The Law is a pretty bird and has charming wings. Pity it has so terrible a bill.
1864 Why is a confirmed invalid like an inveterate beer-drinker? Because he is always ale-ing!” —
Examples of Victorian/Edwardian humour tweeted by author and blogger Lee Jackson of The Cat’s Meat Shop.
Don’t let those stern visages in photographs fool you into thinking Victorians were without humour.
Lady with a corsage, Edmund Charles Tarbell