You think puns in *one* language are bad...
November 13, 2008 1:24 AM   Subscribe

Bahasa Indonesia speakers! My late, beloved grandmother was an expert in dreadful multi-lingual puns. Help me remember a silly joke she used to tell about roosters.

This joke can only be told well by someone who speaks heavily accented English, and you need to know a little Indonesian to laugh at the punchline.

Here is what I remember of the joke:

One evening, a woman is hurrying along the street, carrying her shopping. A man is running towards her, not looking where he's going. He crashes into the woman and knocks all her groceries into the gutter.

"Oh!" says the man. "I am sorry, I am sorry!"

The woman looks afronted. "Ayam sore? AYAM SORE?!"
[English translation: A chicken in the evening? A CHICKEN in the EVENING?!]

The woman then yells something at the man which translates in English to: "A rooster in the morning!"

What is this punchline in Bahasa? And where is the pun, slang or implied insult which I remember made the joke so funny? It could easily have been something a bit risque - her English jokes were fairly ribald!

I'll probably never tell this joke as well as she did, but I will send an enormous plate of love and virtual tempeh goreng to anyone who can help me remember how it went.
posted by [ixia] to Writing & Language (6 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I don't see how this will fit in there but the rooster in morning translates to
ayam pagi
posted by citybuddha at 3:09 AM on November 13, 2008

Thanks citybuddha, that's a start.

My vague memory is that there was some kind of double meaning to the punchline - some way of phrasing "a chicken in the morning" which also meant something funny or insulting. Like 'cock' in English, I suppose.
posted by [ixia] at 4:09 AM on November 13, 2008

If it was a well-known sort of joke it would be one thing, but one that your gramma made up? That's a toughie! If it helps, in BM a rooster is "ayam jantan" or "ayam jaguh". A "bapak ayam" can be a pimp, "ibu ayam" can mean a madam. "Subuh" can also mean dawn or morning. Ayam sore I can't think of a way to make the joke work though.
posted by BinGregory at 10:02 PM on November 13, 2008

"Ayam siang" make sense to you?
posted by divabat at 12:21 AM on November 14, 2008

Hmm, That would be a pun: "siang" meaning day and "siang" meaning dressed or slaughtered. You plucked chicken, you!
posted by BinGregory at 12:29 AM on November 14, 2008

Thank you all so much - I think 'ayam siang' might well be it. I don't think my grandmother made the joke up, but a joke heard in the markets of Jakarta circa 1932 is just as tough for a bunch of MeFites to solve! I guess I'll have to wait till my Bahasa improves before I'll know for sure. Thanks, all.
posted by [ixia] at 11:03 PM on January 22, 2009

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