Some jokes are timeless and will make people laugh in any century. But, most jokes are highly reliant on the context of the times. for instance our jokes today about doctors have less to do with razors and blood-letting (thank goodness!). But, just for fun, we thought we’d take a look at some jokes from the 18th and 19th century that might leave a few people today scratching their heads. Or, who knows, you might find them just as funny as their original audiences did hundreds of years ago!

1) How are young ladies like arrows?

Because they are all a quiver in the presence of a beau.

Via/ Library of Congress

2) Which word may be pronounced quicker my adding another syllable?


3)What do you call a tumbler full of whiskey?

A drunken gymnast.

4) A man says to a girl he’s courting, “I am a millionaire, haven’t I got enough money for the both of us?”

The girl replies, “yes, but only if your tastes are very modest.”

5) How do you get used to the waltz?

Just remember it’s the way of the whirled.


6) What can you fill a barrel with to make it lighter?


7) Which is the favorite word among women?

The last one.

Via/ Library of Congress

8) Why does a chambermaid have more lives than a cat?

Because every morning she returns to dust.

9) Why do they call an engagement a match?

Because they are so easily broken.

Via/ Library of Congress

10) A foolish fellow was asked how he funded his travel abroad and he replied “by my wits, of course.”

The other retorted, “you must have traveled very cheaply then.”

11) A wife says to her husband, “I’ll bet you sixpence you can’t find me!”

The husband replies, “I’ll bet you sixpence I don’t look!”

12) When a lady is sewing she is not what she seams.

Via/ Flickr

13) How do you keep jellies so they don’t go moldy?

Keep the pantry door open and the children of the house will soon solve the problem for you!

14) What do you call men who hate long sentences?


Via/ Flickr

15) One man says to another, “it is said that Dame Fortune knocks on everyone’s door!”

The other replies, “no, it was her daughter, Miss Fortune, who visited me.”

If you enjoyed these historical jokes then check out these old timey wordsthat are due for a comeback!