How does he smell?

Does that mean how the he will smell other things or how himself smells?

For example: If there is a dog who doesn't have a nose and a person asks the owner the above question.

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    It can mean either of those things. Which, depends entirely on the context of the conversation. Without context it is impossible to say. Hence the joke as mentioned by @Michael Harvey – chasly - supports Monica Jan 11 at 10:44
  • The "How does he smell" joke could fairly be called the canonical bad joke, except that 'take my wife" seems to occupy that position. – Michael Harvey Jan 11 at 13:55

A very old comedy routine, performed by two people.

Person A: I say I say I say.

Person B: What do you say?

Person A: My dog's got no nose.

Person B: No nose? How does he smell?

Person A: Bloody awful!

The joke is based on two possible meanings of 'smell' - (1) be able to sense odours (2) have an odour. Person B means to ask "By what means is the dog able to sense the odours of things around himself?" Person A comedically misinterprets the question as "What is the quality or nature of the dog's own odour?"

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    The joke wouldn't work so well if you substitute (e.g.) 'grandfather' for 'dog', because dogs rely on their sense of smell much more than humans do. – Michael Harvey Jan 11 at 10:39
  • If you substituted 'President' for 'dog', as with other things connected with him, it would not be funny at all. – Michael Harvey Jan 11 at 13:57

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