Bad Dad Jokes

When it comes to bad dad jokes, we’ve all heard (and told) a few. These are the eye-rolling, family-friendly, corny puns that fathers all around the world can’t help but tell whenever they have a chance. You know, the ones that make everyone else groan.

In fact, there are countless books and articles dedicated solely to this particular type of humour. But, what exactly defines a dad joke? Basically, it’s any joke that violates one or more norms in an obvious and unintended way. This could be a linguistic norm such as the pragmatic norm against ambiguity (i.e., a poorly-constructed pun) or it could be a social norm such as the norm against sexism (i.e., a sexually-charged pun).

Dad jokes appear to be particularly popular among men of a certain age. The term is even found in Danish culture, where it’s known as morfar vittigheder (grandfather jokes).

Although we might roll our eyes at dad jokes, it turns out they may actually serve a pedagogical function. By teasingly striking at their children’s egos and emotions, fathers can teach them to cope with embarrassment in a healthy way. This might especially be important for children approaching or in the midst of adolescence, as this is a sensitive period for sociocultural processing (Blakemore & Mills, 2014). So next time your dad starts telling you one of these cringe-worthy zingers, remember to embrace the cheese and enjoy it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *