Episode 142: Ancient Chinese Jokes 3 – The Loaner And Borrower

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Laugh is a world language. Today we will continue the series about ancient Chinese jokes and hope you can laugh or smile about it.

One of the most famous book of jokes is called XiaoFu 笑府 by the author Feng Menglong 冯梦龙, who was a Chinese writer and poet of the Ming dynasty, between the year 1574 ~ 1646. The book contains almost 600 jokes. We will tell two jokes about loaner and borrower from this book today.


This first story says, a borrower told his loaner, “I don’t think I will live any longer. I had a dream last night that I died.” The loaner said, “the dreams are the opposite of the reality. If you dreamed that you died, it means you will live for long.” Just to explain here, it is a popular theory that the dreams are the opposite of the reality. The borrower said, “oh is that so? I forgot to tell you I also had a dream that I never paid you back the money I owned you.”

The second story says, there was a borrower who didn’t pay back the money. The loaner was angry and ordered his servants to carry him to his house and ask about the money since the borrower wouldn’t meet him. On the way to the house, the servant was taking a break from carrying the borrower and put him down. The borrower told the servants, “don’t put me down. Let’s go! If we take a break here, I might be carried by other loaners of mine. If that happened, it is not my fault.”



笑府 XiaoFu

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