Dry Humor Definition

What is it?

A dry humor definition, according to the Urban Dictionary online, is as follows:

Dry humour, (humor in America) sometimes also referred to as deadpan, is a form of comedic delivery in which something humorous is said or done by a person, while not exhibiting a change in emotion or facial expression.

It is implied humour or indirect humour which largely depends on what the audience thinks is being said rather than anything else.

Mark Twain on Dry Humor Definition

dry humor definition,deadpan humor,mark twain quote

A quote, attributed to Mark Twain about dry humor, says:

"The humorous story is told gravely; the teller does his best to conceal the fact that he even dimly suspects that there is anything funny about it."

This seriousness on the part of the person employing dry humor, makes what he says all the more hilarious.

A person who uses dry humor may have a "deadpan" facial expression - which may cause you to wonder if he is joking or not!

Indeed, another dry humor definition might be: "indirect, implied, deadpan, or tongue in cheek humor - spoken in a serious way, but with humorous intent."

Sometimes, as is the case with some of my relatives, a slight grin or twinkle in the eye will give away the intention - but the focus remains on the words spoken.

Choose Your Audience Carefully!

One thing to keep in mind about dry humor is that not everyone understands it. Sometimes, this in itself can be funny!

Dry humor is such a common occurrence in my family that when one of us makes a tongue-in-cheek comment, the others laugh. If we are in the company of someone who doesn't get it at all, it might be a little awkward, yet we laugh harder as we talk about it later.

Some people, for whatever reason, do not understand implied humor. Others may be offended by what you say in jest.

For this reason, ideally dry humor is best employed person to person (so one's expressions or lack of them can be more easily read) and only in the presence of people who truly "get" indirect "tongue in cheek" humor.

If you're not sure about who would or wouldn't appreciate it, try it out on different groups of friends. You'll soon discover who will laugh - and who just doesn't understand this implied humor!

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