What is the pun in this joke "The first time I met my wife I knew she was a keeper. She was wearing massive gloves" by Alun Cochrane


In football / soccer1 (goal)keepers wear oversized gloves:

Goalie Source

If a person you are in a relationship with is decribed as a keeper it's someone considered to be held onto, someone "you should keep".

The joke plays with the double meaning, in a classic example of a double entendre.

1 and other sports involving a ball and a goal: (ice) hockey, cricket, lacrosse... Not all sports, though, e.g. water-/handball are played "gloveless".

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    The first sentence leads you to believe that he knew that he would marry her when they first met - a person to "keep". The second sentence reveals that she was literally a goal keeper. – Hannover Fist Aug 26 '15 at 20:35
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    @Joe "Goalie" is short for "goalkeeper". "Keeper" is also short for "goalkeeper"... just shortened to a different portion of the word. – Catija Aug 27 '15 at 3:04
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    Also Wicket Keeper in cricket - even bigger gloves. – OldCurmudgeon Aug 27 '15 at 9:44
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    you should accredit the image. @Joe "goalie" in my experience is sort of an Americanism, I've more frequently heard "keeper" from the other denizens of the diaspora. – MichaelChirico Aug 27 '15 at 13:55
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    This isn't so much a double entendre or a simple pun than it is a Garden Path Sentence or Paraprosdokian. – Clinton Pierce Aug 28 '15 at 14:07

Possible she's a beekeeper? They have to wear large sets of gear to protect themselves.

Bee Keeper gloves

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    +1 for good answer, even though it's probably not what was intended by the author of the pun. – Scimonster Aug 26 '15 at 18:04
  • Another +1 for making me laugh. – AbraCadaver Aug 26 '15 at 18:38
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    I'll agree, odds are this is sports related... Soccer isn't big around here. Football (American, not soccer) doesn't use gloves. Baseball only has a glove. Soccer fits, but isn't my first thought. First thing I thought before seeing the soccer answer, oddly enough, was beekeeper. Second was Quidditch, but that's down right silly even compared to Bees. – user3321 Aug 26 '15 at 18:51
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    I don't know what Gridiron Football you're watching, but almost every position uses gloves. – corsiKa Aug 27 '15 at 4:29
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    This is what I thought of as well, though given the joke author is English the other answer is likely correct. Also you should accredit the image. – MichaelChirico Aug 27 '15 at 13:55

It is a play on words based on

a) "Keeper" Urban Dictionary Definition

a term used to describe a guy/girl that you love very much and plan to "keep"

b) "Keeper" Oxford English Dictionary Definition See #2

Shorthand for a Goalkeeper (Football [UK]) or Wicketkeeper (Cricket)

who would traditionally wear large gloves:

enter image description here enter image description here

The first part of the joke leads you to believe that the teller is talking about definition a), but then qualifies it by talking about the gloves to give definition b)


Alun Cochrane is a comedian from the North of England. He is referring to a Goalkeeper in football (soccer) as well as someone to keep forever. Goalkeepers or keepers use large gloves.

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