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  1. Mehrgan's Avatar
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    #1

    Question How to describe a person who 'can't take a joke'?

    Hi,
    Would you please tell me if there's any adjective or word to describe a person who can't take a joke? As mentioned in an old post of mine, in Persian we use something like, 'it's beyound their capacity...they lack the capacity to take a joke...'!

    This 'capacity' is also used for a person who can't hold their drink.



    I'd appreciate any help.




    Thanks!

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    #2

    Re: How to describe a person who 'can't take a joke'?

    The word humourless came to mind.

    I'll keep thinking.

    Rover

  2. Chicken Sandwich's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: How to describe a person who 'can't take a joke'?

    NOT A TEACHER

    Can't "serious" be used in this context? I've heard the phrase "don't be so serious all the time" occasionally be used, when people adress this quality.

  3. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: How to describe a person who 'can't take a joke'?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chicken Sandwich View Post
    NOT A TEACHER

    Can't "serious" be used in this context? I've heard the phrase "don't be so serious all the time" occasionally be used, when people adress this quality in a person.
    You can be a very serious person but still be able to appreciate a joke. I have only come up with "humourless" so far as well.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  4. Chicken Sandwich's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: How to describe a person who 'can't take a joke'?

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    You can be a very serious person but still be able to appreciate a joke. I have only come up with "humourless" so far as well.
    I have also found the word "unhumourous", but it's very similar to "humourless", so perhaps it's not a good find.

  5. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: How to describe a person who 'can't take a joke'?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chicken Sandwich View Post
    I have also found the word "unhumourous", but it's very similar to "humourless", so perhaps it's not a good find.
    I would expect "unhumourous" to mean "not funny", which is not the same as "humourless" when used to describe a personality trait.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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    #7

    Re: How to describe a person who 'can't take a joke'?

    You could also consider po-faced.

    Rover

  6. Chicken Sandwich's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: How to describe a person who 'can't take a joke'?

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    I would expect "unhumourous" to mean "not funny", which is not the same as "humourless" when used to describe a personality trait.
    I found this word here ( humourless - definition of humourless by the Free Online Dictionary, Thesaurus and Encyclopedia. ). But since you say that it means "not funny", I assume that thefreedictionary is wrong. The source, Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc., doesn't seem very reliable. So far I have not been able to find "unhumorous" in any reliable dictionary.

  7. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: How to describe a person who 'can't take a joke'?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chicken Sandwich View Post
    I found this word here ( humourless - definition of humourless by the Free Online Dictionary, Thesaurus and Encyclopedia. ). But since you say that it means "not funny", I assume that thefreedictionary is wrong. The source, Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc., doesn't seem very reliable. So far I have not been able to find "unhumorous" in any reliable dictionary.
    The example they give - "He gave a humourless wink" does not suggest that the man himself is incapable of humour in that context. It means that the wink is not a "funny wink", it was a wink of warning. The man himself may have a great sense of humour and regularly spend evenings in comedy clubs, roaring with laughter.

    Further down the page it reads "adjective serious, intense, solemn, straight, dry, dour, unfunny, po-faced, unsmiling, heavy-going, unamused, unamusing He was a straight-faced, humourless character."

    As you can see, "unhumourous" is not included as a synonym in that context.

    One of the things with "unhumourous" is that it can mean both "unamusing" and "unamused". The original question asked for a word for a person who does not find things funny so the "unamused" description partly fits. It is, of course, possible to have a great sense of humour but to be unamused by one individual situation, or to not find a particular joke funny.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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    #10

    Re: How to describe a person who 'can't take a joke'?

    Would you please tell me if there's any adjective or word to describe a person who can't take a joke?

    It might be a regional thing but in my experience a person who can't take a joke, especially if the joke is on them, is often called a "bad sport".

    I think the similar "poor sport" is more often used in reference to unfair or unsporting conduct.

    not a teacher

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