Initially I thought "to humor" means "to make something humorous". Per OED and Merriam-Webster, however, I learned that to humor means "to indulge", NOT "to make something humorous".

While "to humorize" does mean to make something humorous, [https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/humorize][1] OED and Merriam-Webster have not accepted it as a standard English word. Thus, what would be the synonymous verbs for "to humorize" as applicable in the following scenario -

In a group message, someone mistook a particular female member as a man and called her out by addressing her with the title Mr. Another guy tried to "humorize" the situation and replied to the whole group with the following message "why did you call me out to do xyz" ?

Would "to pun" be able to replace "to humorize" in this scenario ?

4 Answers 4


There is no really common single verb for this.

Two common expressions are:

They are also frequently used together.


Another guy tried to lighten the mood, and made a joke out of the situation by replying to the whole group that . . .


Maybe this?

Another guy tried to "cheer up" the situation and replied to the whole group with the following message "why did you call me out to do xyz" ?

cheer up (someone) = to feel encouraged and happier, or to cause someone to feel this way:

  • She plays music to cheer her husband up.
  • Cheer up! Things aren’t really that bad.

I’m an AmE native speaker and have never heard the word humorize. You cannot use pun as a verb in this sentence - pun does not take an object and there is no wordplay here (puns are jokes that involve double meanings or a similar-sounding word replacing another - see Wikipedia).

Judging by the context, I think you could say another guy tried to defuse the situation - if people were upset by or feeling uncomfortable with the woman’s being mistaken for a man, the guy may have tried to “tone things down” by pretending that he was actually the man being referred to.

You might also replace “humorize the situation” with “lighten the mood”. If there were tense feelings in the group, this guy’s message might have helped the others relax, especially if they found his message humorous. His message doesn’t seem that funny to me from your description, but maybe if his name sounded similar to hers (e.g. Christopher and Christine) his message would seem funny to the group. (In this case, you could say he made a pun.)

  • I think that "pun" as a verb can take an indirect object; "To pun on X" meaning that X is the word or phrase modified in the wordplay. But i agree that this wasn't any sort of pun, so that word couldn't fit this situation. Jun 6, 2019 at 13:54

Humorize is one. The spelling is relatively new (previously spelt “humourised”). Also, I have personally made up my own word… “commedize” for this situation. While it is not a word in Standard English, native speakers will understand.

  • 1
    Humorize has already been given. Commedize sounds to me like an americanisation of accommodate, nothing to do with humour.
    – Chenmunka
    Nov 22, 2023 at 7:43

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