...and at the same time, she absolutely possesses no sense of humor! I mean she understands jokes and always laughs at them but unlike other students in this class, she is simply unable to make her own jokes. Making jokes is something rather unnatural for her. That's why I am saying that she is a lovely girl with a pure child's heart.

Can "possesses no sense of humor" here be replaced with something better fitting the described situation (that is, being able to understand jokes, yet not being a fan of making jokes)

  • How do you know that she is unable to joke? Perhaps she is just unwilling. Oct 24, 2018 at 16:53
  • I know her personality very well. She is very pure and making jokes is really something that almost goes against her character.
    – brilliant
    Oct 24, 2018 at 16:55
  • What does purity have to do with not joking? Are you talking about jokes which have someone as the butt of their humor? Or "dirty" or "off-color" jokes? Oct 24, 2018 at 16:57
  • @Tᴚoɯɐuo - I don't know. She is just very sincere and is sad when you tell her anything sad and is laughing joyfully when you tell her something funny. However, unlike other kids in class, she never makes jokes - neither those that would have someone as the butt, nor any harmless jokes, let alone dirty jokes.
    – brilliant
    Oct 24, 2018 at 17:04

3 Answers 3


Since you're willing to say "pure child's heart" the following would be in much the same register:

She's a serious creature who never jokes (though she laughs at them and doesn't lack a sense of humor).


I don't think there is a single word to describe this. I like Juhasz' suggestion of "not funny", but it may be unclear exactly what you mean.

Instead we would say she is "bad at telling jokes" or even "terrible at telling jokes".

I have a friend who is just terrible at telling jokes. She knows a lot of jokes, but always forgets or messes up the punchline. In fact she's so bad at it, it's actually pretty funny.

The situation you describe is somewhat more generic, and might be better described using by one of the synonyms of "shy" like reserved, reticent, withdrawn, close-mouthed, or hesitant.

I'm sure she knows a lot of jokes, but she's too reserved to ever tell them in public.

If, as you say, she doesn't tell jokes because of her personality, try serious, somber, humorless, sincere, or no-nonsense.

I tell her I think she shouldn't be so serious all the time and maybe try telling a joke once in a while.

Or perhaps some variation on genuine, thoughtful, authentic, natural, earnest or even naive or ingenuous.

She's so genuine and so nice that she can't even see the humor in jokes that make fun of other people.

Still, it's not clear why someone who is "pure" would be unable to tell a joke. She might not want to tell jokes that hurt other people, but there's nothing hurtful about something like these silly kids' jokes:

Q: What did the paper say to the pencil?
A: Write on!

Q: Why was the broom late?
A: It over swept!

Q: What did one toilet say to the other?
A: You look a bit flushed.


A person who understands and laughs at jokes has a sense of humor.

A person who makes jokes is funny - well, a person who makes good jokes is funny.

A person who is funny must have a good sense of humor, but a person with a sense of humor may not be funny.

  • So, would it be okay then to say "she is absolutely not funny" in my example?
    – brilliant
    Oct 24, 2018 at 16:33

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