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Funny Newspaper Headlines

Newspaper headlines are one special type of English sentence. Because of limited space, some small words are left out. Instead of writing "A man was shot in the city", the headline writer will simply write "Man Shot in City". Because headlines are short and simple, they are a good way to learn English vocabulary. But sometimes there are mistakes. Some of the headlines below have two meanings. Other headlines have meanings that are TOO simple and don't really communicate anything at all! Please look at the headlines below and laugh and learn!

Drunk Gets Nine Months in Violin Case
This sounds like the poor man must spend nine months in a very small box! What a terrible penalty! Actually "case" in this headline means "a court case" - I guess a valuable violin was stolen or destroyed. Of course, he will spend 9 months in an ordinary jail. I hope!

Grandmother of Eight Makes A Hole in One
Of course this grandmother didn't put a hole in one of her grandchildren! Actually, she was playing golf and hit a ball all the way from the beginning (the "tee") all the way to the final hole, all in one "stroke". Pretty amazing! Maybe a better headline would be "Golfing Grandma Makes Hole in One".

Eastern Head Seeks Arms
Is there really a head out there with no arms? I guess it would also have no body! In this case, "head" and "arms" have special meanings. "Head" refers to the leader of a country and "arms" refers to weapons.

Police Begin Campaign To Run Down Jaywalkers
"Jaywalkers" are people who do not cross the street at crosswalks but instead cross anywhere they want. This can be dangerous, so in some places the police try to arrest people or fine them (make them pay money to the government) when they do it. On the one hand, "run down" can mean "to hit with your car", so this sounds like a terrible punishment for jaywalkers. After all, jaywalking may be dangerous, but it's not such a serious crime. In this headline though, "run down" means "to chase", not "to hit with a car"!

Two Sisters Reunited After 18 Years In Checkout
Wow! Did these sisters really have to wait in a supermarket checkout counter for 18 years? That's the worst service I've ever heard of! If the headline were "Two sisters reunited in checkout after 18 years apart", the meaning would be would be more clear, wouldn't it?

Local High School Dropouts Cut In Half
By now I'm sure you can guess that the students who dropped out were not cut into two pieces! Actually, the NUMBER of students who dropped out was cut in half, which is obviously a better result.

For more funny headlines, go to the King of Headlines, Jay Leno. His comments are sometimes hard for students to understand, but it's a great way to learn English!

Funny Headlines by comedian Jay Leno

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