You may be wondering what a wellerism is. Here’s an overused, but classic example.
“I see,” said the blind man, as he picked up his hammer & saw.
A wellerism is a well-known (or sometimes not-so-well known) interjection or statement, followed by a facetious or witty phrase. Here are a few more.
"I hope I made myself clear," said the water as it passed through the filter.
“If the tongue were not in me,” says the head, “I would not have been cut off.”
"Remarkable," said the teacher, trying out her new dry-erase board.
"So far, so good," said the escapee as he looked back at the prison in the distance.
"It's all coming back to me now," Salvador remarked after spitting into the wind.
"Let's dig up that body," said Arianna, gravely.
"My business is looking good," said the model.
"We'd better rehearse this," said the undertaker after the coffin had fallen out of the vehicle.
Though he’s not responsible for wellerisms themselves, Charles Dickens is responsible for creating a character after whom we name wellerisms. Sam Weller, in Dickens’s novel, The Pickwick Papers, regularly spoke in this fashion, thus the word, wellerism. We’ll end with an example straight from the mouth of Sam:
“Sorry to do anythin' as may cause an interruption to such wery pleasant proceedin’s," as the king said wen he dissolved the parliament.
I’d love to know which wellerisms you haven’t previously heard, or which ones took a little thinking to make sense of. Please share your thoughts in the comments section.
My thanks go out to this week’s sources, Sleuthsayers, Charles Dickens Page, The Island English Tutor, & Wordnik.