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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Wellerisms, named after sayings of Sam Weller in Charles Dickens's novel The Pickwick Papers, make fun of established clichés and proverbs by showing that they are wrong in certain situations, often when taken literally. In this sense, wellerisms that include proverbs are a type of anti-proverb. Typically a wellerism consists of three parts: a proverb or saying, a speaker, and an often humorously literal explanation.

Sam Weller's propensity to use the types of constructions now called "wellerisms" have inspired plays; sometimes, the playwrights have created even more wellerisms.

A type of wellerism called a Tom Swifty incorporates a speaker attribution that puns on the quoted statement.

See also

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Wellerism" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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