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Sense of Humour
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What makes the British laugh? Can a foreigner ever learn to enjoy and to share the British sense of humour? It's not easy and may take some time, but it can be done. The eager visitor should first become acquainted with the following and their place in our national collective consciousness: toilets; trousers (when they fall down); restaurant diners with flies in their soup; little men (usually called Willy) with very large wives; doctors and patients with strange things wrong with them.

Understanding and telling jokes is an important part of social life in this country, and one that can cause frustration and embarrassment to the foreign visitor. Slowly build up your skills in this area. Practise laughing at a few of the best known British jokes; start with very simple examples, and as you gain in confidence, try some even simpler ones. Here is an example to start you off.

PATIENT: Doctor. Every time I have a cup of tea, I get a stabbing pain in my eye.
DOCTOR: Well, try taking the spoon out.

Sense of Humour

Expressions to learn
Have you heard the one about...

Avoid saying
Oh dear - I've forgotten the punchline.

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