A clown, not laughing

Light engineering jokes for Christmas

Image credit: Ehimetalor Akhere Unuabona | Unsplash

It’s not been an easy year for anyone, so to brighten things up a bit we’ve collected together our favourite jokes with a technology twist. In terms of quality control, don’t worry, they’re all as clean as a whistle and definitely safe for work. One or two might even raise a smile.

Three statisticians go duck shooting.

The first takes aim but misses by a metre to the left.

The second takes aim but misses by a metre to the right.

“Great! We hit it,” says the third.


Two renewable energy wind turbines standing in a field.

One says to the other: “What kind of music do you like?”

Says the other: “I’m a big metal fan.”


An engineer applies for a job requiring ‘fast accurate mental arithmetic skills.’

The interviewer says: “Let’s start things off with an easy one. What’s 17 times 19?”

In a flash, the interviewee replies, “36.”

The interviewer informs the candidate that the answer supplied was not even close.

“Hmm, thought so. But it was quick!”


An engineering graduate reports for his first day of work at the local car manufacturing plant.

The manager greets him with a handshake, gives him a broom, and says: “Your first job is to sweep the floor in the storeroom.”

Clearly taken aback, the graduate replies indignantly: “But I read engineering at Oxford University!”

“Now, that I didn’t know,” says the manager. “Give me the broom back… I’ll show you how it works.”


There are only 10 kinds of people in this world.

Those that understand binary mathematics and those that don’t.


Did you hear about the candidate whose application for a post as automotive engineer at Citroën failed due to incorrectly filed paperwork?

Apparently, they wanted two CVs.


Did you hear the one about the cat that lived in a nuclear power station?

It had 18 half-lives.

(Not to be confused with the cat that has just signed a publishing deal for a 9-volume autobiography)


Lecturer at Swansea University to an automotive engineering student:

“Could you do me a favour? I’ve just had the indicator lights on my car repaired and I need an expert to tell me if they’re working properly”.

The student goes to the front of the car, bends down to inspect the lights, considers the situation for a moment and says: “Yes, they are. No, they’re not. Yes, they are.”


Two atoms are sitting in a bar. One says to the other: “Do you know I think I’ve lost an electron?”

To which the other atom replies: “Are you sure?”

Says the first: “I’m positive.”


During the French Revolution, when public executions were an everyday spectacle, a priest, a lawyer and an engineer are about to be guillotined.

The priest puts his head on the block and the executioner pulls the rope. But nothing happens. Addressing the crowd, the priest declares that he’s been saved by divine intervention and is set free by the will of the people to return to his flock.

The lawyer is up next, and he too puts his neck on the block. Again, the rope doesn’t release the blade. The lawyer addresses the crowd and says that no citizen can be executed twice for the same crime and by the will of the people he too is set free.

Finally, the engineer is put into the same position to await his fate. He looks up at the faulty mechanism and says: “Hang on. I see the problem. We’ll have that fixed in no time.”


Why do Norwegian, Danish and Swedish naval fleet designers paint bar codes on their ships?

So that when they return to port, they can Scandinavian.


A man walks into a crowded bar at the NEC Birmingham and announces that he’s got a cracking joke about design engineers. But before he can start, a man in a cagoule stands up and says: “Hold it, buddy. I’m a design engineer.”

“Okay,” says the first man. “I’ll tell it very slowly.”


How many engineers does it take to change a light bulb?

One. It’s really easy.

And for those engineering journalists out there.

How many pedants does it take to change a lightbulb?

I think you’ll find the word you’re looking for is ‘replace.’


Did you hear the one about the engineer who, in an attempt to answer one of the greatest questions in pub philosophy, ordered from Amazon a chicken and an egg?


A very specific and scientific protest chant overheard in Trafalgar square.

What do we want?

More Doppler effect Formula 1 car noises!

When do we want them?



As unlikely as it may seem, two astrophysicists are travelling through the further reaches of the known universe when a miscalculation pulls them into a black hole.

In a desperate attempt to get out alive, the first scientist goes into a frenzy of punching co-ordinates into the spaceship’s faster-than-light drive. Meanwhile the second scientist remains calm and carries on making notes.

The first scientist, still working at a feverish pace, says: “What are you doing? We’re about to be sucked into a black hole!”

Replies the second: “I know. Noteworthy, isn’t it?”

To which the first replies: “Do you know what, Professor Jenkins? I’m starting to think that you are not appreciating the gravity of the situation.”


Monty the talking dog walks into the pub and orders a pint of beer. The bartender, slightly blindsided by meeting a talking dog, is lost for words. Eventually, he starts the conversation saying: “With a gift like yours you should get a job at the circus.”

“Great,” says the dog. “Are they looking for a C++ software engineer?”


A customer goes into a car mechanic’s workshop and says: “You’ve got to help me. I’ve got water in the carburettor.”

The mechanic replies: “That’s sounds a little unusual. Are you sure you’ve got water in the carburettor?”

“Absolutely convinced,” replies the customer.

“Hmm,” muses the mechanic. “Do you even know what a carburettor is?”

“Not a clue.”

 “Then how do you know you’ve got water in it?”

 “Because I just drove my car into a swimming pool…”


In other news: The man who invented the USB connector has died. At the interment at Tranquil Vale Cemetery in Silicon Valley, it took the funeral director several frustrating attempts to lower the coffin the right way around.


Did you hear that the programmer who invented predictive texting has died?

His funfair is next monkey.


A sign in the emergency exit stairwell in the faculty of engineering sciences at Oxford University reads: “In case of emergency please exit building before tweeting about it.”


According to scientific research, there are approximately 400 billion birds on the planet, more than 75,000 planes and only one superhero called Superman.

So, in answer to your question: it’s probably a bird.


Quality assurance executives at a leading book publisher have recalled their faulty History of Self-Adhesive Tape.

Apparently, no-one could find the beginning.


Did you know that there’s a pub in central London that holds a competition every Thursday evening to see who has the fastest smartphone internet connection?

They call it ‘Pub Quiz.’


Overheard in a bar: “I wonder if the person who invented the drawing board got it right first time.”


Following news reports that the Health & Safety Executive has banned the throwing of custard pies at circuses, a spokesman for the National Union of Clowns has described the move as ‘a slap in the face.’


A journalist friend of mine was telling me the other day about his new high-tech, state-of-the-art hearing aid.

“It cost a few thousand pounds,” explained my friend. “But it’s worth every penny. It plugs into my smartphone, has wireless recharging and is Wi-Fi and Bluetooth-enabled.”

“That’s amazing,” I replied. “You should get E&T to do an article on that. What make is it?”

“Half past four.”


An engineer turns up late for a critical workflow meeting.

Clearly unimpressed, his boss says: “You really should have been here at 08:00.”

Replies the engineer: “Why? What happened at 08:00?”


An engineer goes to the doctor’s complaining of hearing problems.

“Can you describe the symptoms for me please?” asks the doctor.

“Sure,” says the engineer. “It’s all about a safety inspector at a nuclear power plant whose wife has blue hair.”


Did you hear the one about the optometrist who fell into a grinding machine?

He made a spectacle of himself.


At the height of the storm, the harbourmaster radioed the coastguard for an updated windspeed estimate.

The coastguard replied that there was insufficient data to meet the request due to the poorly calibrated instrumentation on site. But, if it was any help, his Land Rover had just been blown off the cliff.


An engineering student from Imperial College who spent the entire summer earning money at music festivals frying bananas and pineapples at fast-food stalls has complained of literally frittering his life away.


A computer programmer’s wife is having a baby. As the doctor hands the new-born to the father for the first time, the mother asks: “Is it a boy or a girl?”

The computer programmer replies: “Yes.”


Did you hear the one about the engineer who bought a 42in. plasma screen TV for only £100?

The seller claimed it was it was in perfect condition apart from the fact that the volume control was stuck on maximum.

Justifying his purchase, the engineer said: “I thought, at that price you couldn’t turn it down.”


Harry Potter fans: experience the authentic thrill of wearing an Invisibility Cloak and being completely undetectable simply by walking into any consumer electronics retail outlet and trying to get served…


The level of ocean pollution these days is seriously getting out of hand. Only yesterday I opened a can of sardines to find it was full of oil and all the fish were dead.


Breaking news: The inventor credited with bringing the ‘zip’ fastener to the world has just been honoured with a lifetime peerage. He’s asked if he can from now on be known as the Lord of the Flies.


A team of engineers decide to celebrate bringing in a project on time and on budget by going to the local curry house for a slap-up feast. On looking at the menu, one of them asks the waiter to explain the difference between a chana dhal and a tarka dhal.

To which the waiter replies: “Chana is quite spicy. But Tarka is a little otter.”


With further questions about the menu, a different engineer asks the waiter how the chicken is prepared.

“Nothing special,” says the waiter. “We just tell them they’re going to die.”


Chinese scientist and Nobel laureate Tu Youyou today celebrated her 85th birthday by hosting a magnificent official ceremony in Beijing. On departure, one of the guests was stopped by a reporter from the China Post, who asked how the event had gone.

“It was fine,” said the guest. “Only when it came to singing Happy Birthday, it got a bit confusing.”


Late news: Scientists at Oslo University who have published a paper on their experiment to combine DNA from a hyena with an Oxo cube have become a laughing stock…


And finally…

My grandfather was a proper old-fashioned, metal-bashing engineer and knew right from the start that the Titanic was going to sink.

He told them and told them. He begged them to heed his words. But all they did was pretend not to listen and look the other way.

After a while they could ignore him no longer. So, they threw him out of the cinema.

All jokes taken from Nick Smith's new book, ‘Did You Hear the One About…?’

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