I offered a challenge to my followers on twitter last night, and it was a tough one! I posted this meme on twitter and asked my followers what they thought it meant.
Unfortunately, even though this is a simple English expression, sometimes understanding English requires a lot of knowledge!
In this case, you need to understand pop culture and double entendres!
Whoa… what are those??
A meme is a funny image, video or text that is copied and spread around the internet. It’s usually very short, and often has elements of pop culture.
- Pop Culture
Pop culture is culture that we learn from the media, like TV, movies, YouTube or even popular books. It is usually aimed at younger people and often changes very quickly. A very simple example of Japanese pop culture was the popular expression 今でしょ！from the Toshin high school teacher.
If you said that expression in Japan, everyone would understand and laugh, but what if you said that expression in America? Almost no one would understand!
Here’s an example of a Japanese pop culture meme:
This is an image from a Japanese comedian who used the expression 今でしょ to make a joke! Again, most foreigners would not understand this because they don’t know enough about Japanese culture, but most Japanese people understand this!
- Double Entendre
A double entendre is a word or expression that has two meanings, one of them is usually humorous.
Here’s an example:
Attractive woman: Whew, I’m hot.
Man: Yes, you are!
In this example, “hot” means two things:
- Being a high temperature
- Attractive or sexy
So, the woman meant the first one, but the man understood it as the second one!
So back to the meme!
The sentence can be read two ways:
- “It’s April Fools”
- “It’s April, fools.”
The first one is pretty normal. It’s just telling us a date of a popular Western holiday (April Fools is April 1st).
The second one is the joke. The man in the photo is Mr. T. He used to be a professional wrestler and actor. He was famous for using the word “fool”, a word used to make fun of someone. One of his most famous lines in the 80s was “I pity the fool”.
So instead of telling us the name of a holiday, he’s telling us the month (It’s April) and calling us a mean name (fools!). LOL
Hope that made sense! If you still don’t understand or have any more questions, let me know!