Joe Miller

   A Joe Miller is a stale joke. If you tell your friends the jokes you heard as a youngster, they're probably Joe Millers. Poor Joe Miller. No one would like his name to serve as an eponym for a stale jest. Comedians who tell warmed over, well-known jokes are said to have taken them from Joe Miller's Joke Book.
   Joe Miller (1684-1738) was a popular English comic actor during the early 1700s. He performed at the Drury Lane Theater in London, but his parts were minor. Although his dialogue did not call for many jests, the audience took delight in quoting the witty remarks he made. A year after Joe Miller's death, a certain Joe Mottley, without permission from anyone, compiled a book titled Joe Miller's Jest-Book, or The Wit's Vade Mecum. The book contained only three jests ever spoken by Miller; the rest consisted of poor puns and dull witticisms. Other publishers jumped on the comic bandwagon, and soon there was a flood of joke books that bore the name Joe Miller. Readers responded the wayaudiences did to the same joke time after time: "That's a Joe Miller." The name became a synonym for any timeworn joke. Joe Miller's memory is being unfairly tarnished when his name is associated with a hackneyed jest taken from this old book. Joe, of course, never saw the book. Furthermore, Joe was unschooled; he could neither read nor write.

Dictionary of eponyms. . 2013.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Joe Miller — may refer to:*Joe Miller (actor) (1684 ndash;1738), English actor, the namesake of the 18th century jokebook Joe Miller s Jests *Joe Miller (second baseman) (1850 ndash;1891), Major League Baseball player *Joe Miller (shortstop) (1861 ndash;1928) …   Wikipedia

  • Joe Miller — Joe Mil ler [From Joseph Miller, a comic actor, whose name was attached, after his death, to a popular jest book published in 1739.] A jest book; a stale jest; a worn out joke. [Colloq.] [1913 Webster] It is an old Joe Miller in whist circles,… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Joe Miller — Données clés Nationalité  Canada Né le 6 octobre 1900, Morrisburg (Canada) Mort le 12 août 1963 …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Joe Miller — (n.) stale joke, 1816, from Joseph Miller (1684 1738), a comedian, whose name was affixed after his death to a popular jest book, Joe Miller s jests, or the Wit s Vade mecum (1739) compiled by John Mottley …   Etymology dictionary

  • joe miller — ˈmilə(r) noun Usage: usually capitalized J&M Etymology: from Joe Miller s Jest book (1739), a collection of jokes by John Mottley died 1750 English writer, after Joe Miller died 1738 English comedian 1. : a book of jokes 2. : joke; …   Useful english dictionary

  • Joe Miller — 1. a book of jokes. 2. an old, familiar joke; chestnut. [1780 90; after Joe Miller s Jestbook (1739) by John Mottley] * * * …   Universalium

  • JOE MILLER —    an English actor, the author of a book of jests (1684 1738) …   The Nuttall Encyclopaedia

  • Joe Miller (actor) — Millerisms redirects here. For the teachings of William Miller, see Millerism. Joe Miller s Jests, or the Wits Vade Mecum (1739) Joe Miller (Joseph or Josias) (1684 – August 15, 1738) was an English actor, who first appeared in the cast of Sir… …   Wikipedia

  • Joe Miller (ice hockey b. 1985) — Infobox Ice Hockey Player image size = 180px position = Forward shoots = Right height ft = 6 height in = 1 weight lb = 200 nickname = league = EPIHL team = Peterborough Phantoms former teams = Telford Tigers nationality = WAL birth date = birth… …   Wikipedia

  • Joe Miller (ice hockey) — Infobox Ice Hockey Player position = Goalie shot = height ft = height in = weight lb = played for = New York Americans Pittsburgh Pirates Philadelphia Quakers league = NHL nationality = CAN birth date = birth date|1900|8|6|mf=y birth place =… …   Wikipedia

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