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Standing Joke


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Today’s idiom is the expression standing joke. A standing joke refers to something that, whenever it happens or is mentioned over a period of time, regularly causes to people to laugh or be amused. Politicians scandals or mistakes (think of some of Sarah Palin’s unfortunate statements during the last election campaign in the U.S.), your grandmother’s love of boxing and fast cars (not typical interests for a woman of her age), or an old teacher’s favourite saying (for example, one that you heard everyday and that you clearly connect with that teacher)...all of these things could be examples of standing jokes among some groups of people. Here are some quotes that further demonstrate the use of the English idiom a standing joke:

For years the standing joke in banking circles
was that Chase Manhattan Chairman David
Rockefeller kept firing the wrong person.
In his attempts to straighten out the nation’s
third largest bank, he should have let himself go.
- time.com, Business: The Change at David’s Bank, 1 September 1980

Berlusconi. The Italian Premier... has continued
in his quest to make Italy a standing joke on the
international scene.
-independent.co.uk, Sleazy Berlusconi is a disgrace to modern Italy, 11 October 2011, Alex Fusco

In recent years, at least since Greg Rusedski
defected from the country of his birth to represent
a hardly booming Great Britain in 1995 - Canadian
tennis has been something of a standing joke.
-sportinglife.com, 20 September 2011

Can you think of a good example of a standing joke?

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