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Philadelphia Lawyer

Posted by Henry on February 25, 2004

In Reply to: Re: Lawyer jokes/example posted by ESC on February 25, 2004

: : : : : I've watched Philadelphia (1993, *ing Tom Hanks, Denzel Washington and Antonio Bandares), my all-time favourite movie, a couple of times and have read its script too. But there's this riddle in the movie I didn't quite catch.

: : : : : At the climax, Andrew Becket (Tom Hanks) poses this riddle to Joe Miller (Denzel Washington), his lawyer who's paying a visit to the hospital to congratulate Andy for his legal victory. Andy asks, "So, what do you call a thousand lawyers chained together at the bottom of the ocean?" When Joe gives up, Andy divulges, "A good start!"

: : : : : I just didn't get it. Would someone explain this to me; like I were a six old :-)?

: : : : It's quite straightforward! Andy would like to get rid of all lawyers. Drowning 1000 is a good start. You can of course adapt this question using the profession of your choice.

: : : Lawyer jokes are kind of a "tradition." Go to http://www.google.com/ and type in "lawyer jokes" to access a bunch.

: : : It was so cold today that all the lawyers in town had their hands in their own pockets! Cheers!

: They used the lawyers in the ocean joke in another movie:

: What do you call 500 lawyers lying on the bottom of the ocean?
: A good start...
: -- (The War of the Roses, 1989)

Perhaps it was a clever joke in the film Philadelphia. The term "Philadelphia Lawyer" indicates a deviously clever attorney who can twist anything to his client's favor. Woody Guthrie knew of one.

Philadelphia Lawyer by Woody Guthrie 1937

Way out in Reno, Nevada, Where romance blooms and fades,
A great Philadelphia lawyer Was in love with a Hollywood maid.
"Come, love, and we will wander Down where the lights are bright.
I'll win you a divorce from your husband, And we can get married tonight."

Wild Bill was a gun-totin' cowboy, Ten notches were carved in his gun.
And all the boys around Reno Left Wild Bill's maiden alone.
One night when he was returning From ridin' the range in the cold,
He dreamed of his Hollywood sweetheart, Her love was as lasting as gold.

As he drew near her window, A shadow he saw on the shade;
'Twas the great Philadelphia lawyer Makin' love to Bill's Hollywood maid.
The night was as still as the desert, The moon hangin' high overhead.
Bill listened awhile to the lawyer, He could hear ev'ry word that he said:

"Your hands are so pretty and lovely, Your form's so rare and divine.
Come go with me to the city And leave this wild cowboy behind."
Now back in old Pennsylvania, Among those beautiful pines,
There's one less Philadelphia lawyer In old Philadelphia tonight.