La risa: la mejor medicina (Laughter: the best medicine)

Laughter is the best medicine - Image by juweez.deviantart.comJokes are a great way to get to understand the humor and cultural mind of Spain. They’re often explicit and are hardly ever politically correct, usually regardless of who’s telling them. Here are a few (not too graphic) you can try on your Spanish friends:


*Su = your (usted form) AND his/her (regular third person)

*Tutear = to refer to someone in the tu form (as opposed to the more formal usted form)

-El director de una empresa grande habla con un detective privado:

The director of a large company converses with a private detective:

-Bueno, ¿Y has seguido al señor Martinez para saber por que se va todos los Martes y Jueves en mitad del trabajo y vuelve con esa cara de felicidad? “So, have you followed Mr. Martinez to figure out why he leaves every Tuesday and Thursday in the middle of the day and comes back home with that happy face?”

-Si. El Sr Martinez sale del trabajo, baja al garaje, coge su coche, se va a su casa, hace el amor con su mujer, y se fuma su puro. Luego vuelve aquí como si no hubiera pasado nada. “Yes. Mr. Martinez leaves work, goes down to the garage, gets su (understood as his) car, makes love to su (understood as his) wife, and smokes su (understood as his) cigar. Then he comes back here as if nothing happened.”

¡Ah! Pues no es para tanto. Seguro que el tener un matrimonio activo le ayuda a trabajar mejor. “Oh! Well that’s not such a big deal. I’m sure having an active marriage helps him work better.”

-Creo que no me ha entendido. ¿Puedo tutearle? “I think you haven’t understood me. Can I refer to you in the tu form?”

-Si, como no. “Yes, of course.”

– El Sr Martinez sale del trabajo, baja al garaje, coge tu coche, se va a tu casa, se lo hace con tu mujer, y se fuma tu puro. Luego vuelve aquí como si nada. “Mr. Martinez leaves work, goes down to the garage, gets your car, makes love to your wife, and smokes your cigar. Then he comes back here as if nothing happened.”

This joke illustrates the difference between the tu and usted in Spanish. Usted is used as a sign of respect; when the lawyer first answers the director, he employs the form of usted: “coge su coche, se va a su casa, etc…”
The director interprets this incorrectly because su is used to refer both to the first person (with the usted form) and to the third person: su coche (your car, employing the usted form), or su coche (his car).
Obviously the director assumes the detective was referring to the third person (i.e. Mr. Martinez was making love to his own wife), and only realizes his wife is cheating on him with Mr. Martinez when the detective uses the tu form.


*Jaimito = a typical schoolboy character used in Spanish jokes, usually mischievous.

Jaimito escribe una carta al Niño Jesús:

Jaimito writes a letter to Baby Jesus:

-Querido Niño Jesús: (Dear Baby Jesus)

Me he portado MUY bien este año y quiero que, por favor, me TRAIGAS una bicicleta. I’ve behaved VERY well this year and I want you, please, to BRING me a bike.

-Atentamente: Jaimito. Sincerely: Jaimito

Se dispone a poner la carta en el Nacimiento, pero en ese momento observa que la figura de la Virgen María le mira fijamente. Arrepentido rompe la carta y escribe uno nuevo: He gets ready to put the letter in the Nativity scene, but in that moment he observes that Virgin Mary’s figure is looking at him intently. Ashamed, he rips the letter and writes a new one:

Querido Niño Jesús: Dear Baby Jesus

CREO que me he portado bien este año, por favor traeme una bicicleta. I THINK I’ve behaved well this year, please bring me a bike.

Atentamente: Jaimito. Sincerely: Jaimito

Nuevamente se dispone a poner la carta cuando siente la mirada de la Virgen María que volvía a mirarle fijamente. Rompe la carta y escribe otra. Again he gets ready to place the letter when he feels Virgin Mary’s stare, who was again staring intently at him. He rips the letter and writes another one.

Querido Niño Jesús: Dear Baby Jesus,

No me he portado muy bien este año, pero si me traes una bicicleta, prometo portarme bien el que viene. I haven’t behaved very well this year, but if you bring me a bike, I promise I’ll behave well next year.

Vuelve con la carta y otra vez siente la mirada de la Virgen María sobre él. Rompe otra vez la carta y desesperado coge la figura de la Virgen María y la encierra en el ropero. Vuelve a escribir. He goes back with the letter and again feels Virgin Mary’s stare upon him. He rips the letter and in desperation grabs Virgin Mary’s figure and locks it up in his closet. He writes again.

Niño Jesús, tengo a tu vieja, si quieres volver a verla, deja una bicicleta debajo del **** árbol. Baby Jesus, I have your old lady, if you want to see her again, leave a bike below the ******* tree.


Un topo y una serpiente se encuentran en lo más profundo de la tierra.Laughter the best medicine - Image by A mole and a snake meet each other in the deepest part of earth.

El topo era ciego y la serpiente nunca había podido salir a la superficie. Como no podían ver como eran, deciden ayudarse a descubrir lo que son. The mole was blind and the snake had never been able to get to the surface. Since they couldn’t see what they looked like, they decide to help each other discover what they are.

La serpiente empieza a tocar al topo y le dice: The snake begins to touch the mole and says:

– Tienes pelos, un hocico muy afinado, una nariz pequeña. “You have furr, a sharp snout, a small nose.”

El topo le corta y le dice: The mole cuts him off and says:Laughter the best medicine - imagen by

– ¡Ya se, soy un topo! “I know! I’m a mole!”

Entonces el topo empieza a tantear a la serpiente y le dice: Then the mole begins to touch the snake and says:

A ver, eres fría, te arrastras y tienes grandes colmillos. “Lets see, you’re cold, you slither and you have large fangs.”

De repente la serpiente gime: Suddenly the snake groans:

– No puede ser… ¡debo de ser un abogado! It can’t be… I must be a lawyer!

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