Posted by R. Berg on February 15, 2004
In Reply to: Practical Joke posted by Bob on February 15, 2004
: : Where did the phrase 'Practical Joke' come from.
: : It's not'really a practical thing to do?
: Practical joke, a joke put in practice; a joke the fun of which consists in something done, in distinction from something said; esp., a trick played upon a person.
: Source: Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, © 1996, 1998 MICRA, Inc.
The idea here is that jokes that you DO belong in a different category from jokes that you TELL. We don't seem to have a word for the "told" kind of jokes.