What is dry humour anyway? Is it humour minus the saliva?
Dry humour defined
“dry humour” or “dry humor” (as Americans spell it) is humour told in a “dry” way, without emotion (e.g. seriously). So you tell a joke like it’s not a joke, in a matter-of-fact kind of way — in this sense, dry humour can be said to be all about the delivery of the joke.
It is an implied or indirect kind of humour, often with an emphasis on how the joke is told.
As an aside, you should also note that dry humour is largely subjective, as you’ll notice if you read the comments on this post below.
For those seeking “official” confirmation of what dry humour really is, here’s the definition from Wordreference.com:
humorously sarcastic or mocking; “dry humor”; “an ironic remark often conveys an intended meaning obliquely”; “an ironic novel”; “an ironical smile”; “with a wry Scottish wit”
Below are even more clues to what dry humour is (or if you like, check out the comments at the bottom of the page. You’ll find many useful definitions, links, and other miscellaneous information from my readers):
- One type of British humor is often said to be “dry humor.” It is based on a hardly observable, or small deviation — a slight gesture. — From the essay How Can Humor Be Classified? (The link to the original essay can no longer be found… if you know where it is let me know and I’ll replace the link!)
- Humorous or sarcastic in a shrewd, impersonal way. — From thefreedictionary.com/dry
- dry is really no more than a clever circumlocution or a punch line that doesn’t need to be said. — From article How Dry is Dry?
- 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. — From Wikipedia definition of deadpan, which is what some people claim dry humour to be
There have been a hundred (or more) comments on this post already. I do not suggest that you go through all (or any) of them, since many simply reiterate the points I have written.