Amazing, what mis-communication can do for humor!

By category:   [Advertising Bloopers]    [Classified Ad Blunders]
[Church Bulletin Bloopers]    [International Signage Bloopers]     [Newspaper Bloopers]

Advertising Bloopers
From "American Demographics" magazine

ADDED 7/99

Here is a look at how shrewd American business people translate their slogans into foreign languages:

When Braniff translated a slogan touting its upholstery, "Fly in Leather," it came out in Spanish as "Fly Naked."

Coors put its slogan, "Turn It Loose," into Spanish, where it was read as "Suffer From Diarrhea."

Chicken magnate Frank Perdue's line, "It takes a tough man to make a tender chicken," sounds much more interesting in Spanish: "It takes a sexually stimulated man to make a chicken affectionate."

When Vicks first introduce its cough drops on the German market, they were chagrined to learn that the German pronunciation of "v" is f - which in German is the guttural equivalent of "sexual penetration."

Not to be outdone, Puffs tissues tried later to introduce its product, only to learn that "Puff" in German is a colloquial term for a whorehouse.

The Chevy Nova never sold well in Spanish speaking countries. "No Va" means "It Does Not Go" in Spanish.

When Pepsi started marketing its products in China a few years back, they translated their slogan, "Pepsi Brings You Back to Life" pretty literally. The slogan in Chinese really meant, "Pepsi Brings Your Ancestors Back from the Grave."

When Coca-Cola first shipped to China, they named the product something that when pronounced sounded like "Coca-Cola." The only problem was that the characters used meant "Bite The Wax Tadpole."  They later changed to a set of characters that mean "Happiness In The Mouth."

A hair products company, Clairol, introduced the "Mist Stick", a curling iron, into Germany only to find out that mist is slang for manure. Not too many people had use for the manure stick.

When Gerber first started selling baby food in Africa, they used the same packaging as here in the USA - with the cute baby on the label.  Later they found out that in Africa companies routinely put pictures on the label of what is inside since most people can not read.

[back to top]

Classified Ad Blunders

ADDED 5/99

Lost: small apricot poodle. Reward. Neutered. Like one of the family.

A superb and inexpensive restaurant. Fine food expertly served by waitresses in appetizing forms.

Dinner Special -- Turkey $2.35; Chicken or Beef $2.25; Children $2.00.

For sale: an antique desk suitable for lady with thick legs and large drawers.

Four-poster bed, 101 years old. Perfect for antique lover.

Now is your chance to have your ears pierced and get an extra pair to take home, too.

Wanted: 50 girls for stripping machine operators in factory.

Wanted: Unmarried girls to pick fresh fruit and produce at night.

We do not tear your clothing with machinery. We do it carefully by hand.

No matter what your topcoat is made of, this miracle spray will make it really repellent.

For Sale. Three canaries of undermined sex.

For Sale -- Eight puppies from a German Shepherd and an Alaskan Hussy.

Creative daily specials, including select offerings of beef, foul, fresh vegetables, salads, quiche.

7 ounces of choice sirloin steak, boiled to your likeness and smothered with golden fried onion rings.

Great Dames for sale.

Have several very old dresses from grandmother in beautiful condition.

Tired of cleaning yourself? Let me do it.

20 dozen bottles of excellent Old Tawny Port, sold to pay for charges, the owner having lost sight of, and bottled by us last year.

Dog for sale: eats anything and is fond of children.

Vacation Special: have your home exterminated.

If you think you've seen everything in Paris, visit the Pere Lachasis Cemetery. It boasts such immortals as Moliere, Jean de la Fontain, and Chopin.

Mt. Kilimanjaro, the breathtaking backdrop for the Serena Lodge. Swim in the lovely pool while you drink it all in.

The hotel has bowling alleys, tennis courts, comfortable beds, and other athletic facilities.

Get rid of aunts: Zap does the job in 24 hours.

Sheer stockings. Designed for fancy dress, but so serviceable that lots of women wear nothing else.

Stock up and save. Limit: one.

Save regularly in our bank. You'll never regret it.

We build bodies that last a lifetime.

This is the model home for your future. It was panned by Better Homes and Gardens.

For Sale--Diamonds $20; microscopes $15.

For Rent: 6-room hated apartment.

Man, honest. Will take anything.

Wanted: chambermaid in rectory. Love in, $200 a month. References

Semi-Annual after-Christmas Sale.

And now, the Superstore--unequaled in size, unmatched in variety, unrivaled inconvenience.

[back to top]

Church Bulletin Bloopers:

ADDED Aug, 2005

"For those of you who have children and donít know it,
we have a nursery downstairs."

"Ladies, donít forget the rummage sale.
Itís a chance to get rid of those things not worth keeping
around the house. Donít forget your husbands."

"Weight Watchers will meet at 7pm at the First Presbyterian Church.
Please use the large double door at the side entrance."

"Potluck supper Sunday at 5:00pm Ė prayer and medication to follow."

"At the evening service tonight, the topic will be "What is Hell?"
Come early and listen to our choir practice."

"Please place your donation in the envelope along with
the deceased person you want remembered."

ADDED 00/08

"Don't let worry kill you - let the Church help!"

"Remember in prayer,
the many who are sick of our church and community."

"The rosebud on the altar this morning is to announce the birth of
David Alan Smith, the sin of the Rev. and Mrs. Julius Smith."

"Wednesday, the Ladies' Liturgy  Society will meet.  Mrs. Jones will sing
Put Me in My Little Bed, accompanied by the pastor."

"Thursday, there will be a meeting of the Little Mothers Club.
All wishing to become little mothers,
please see the minister in his study."

"This being Easter Sunday, we ask Mrs. Lewis to come forward
and lay an egg on the altar."

"A bean supper will be held Tuesday evening in the church hall.
Music will follow."

"At the evening service tonight, the sermon topic will be
"What is Hell?"  Come early and listen to our choir practice."

"The eighth-graders will be performing Shakespeare's Hamlet 

in the church basement on Friday.  The congregation
is invited to attend this tragedy."

"For those who have children and don't know it,
we have a new nursery."

"Eight new choir robes are urgently needed, due to the addition of several new members and the deterioration of some older ones."

ADDED 8/99

"A new loudspeaker system has been installed in the church.
It was given by one of our members in
honor of his wife."

The choir will meet at the Larsen house for fun and sinning.

Miss Charlene Mason sang, "I Will Not Pass This Way Again," giving obvious pleasure to the congregation.

Ladies, don't forget the rummage sale. It is a good chance to get rid of those things not worth keeping around the house. Bring your husbands.

Next Sunday is the family hayride and bonfire at the Taylors. Bring your own hot dogs and guns. Friends are welcome! Everyone come for a fun time.

"Wise Up, O Men of God"

Smile at someone who is hard to love. Say "hell" to someone who doesn't care much about you.

The peace-making meeting scheduled for today has been canceled due to a conflict.

Tonight's sermon-"What is hell?"
Come early and listen to our choir practice.

The sermon this morning: Jesus Walks on the Water.
The sermon tonight: Searching for Jesus.

Next Thursday, there will be tryouts for the choir.
They need all the help they can get

The agenda was adopted...the minutes were approved...
the financial secretary gave a grief report.

Barbara C. remains in the hospital and needs blood donors for more transfusions. She is also having trouble sleeping and requests tapes of Pastor Jack's sermons.

The 'Over 60s Choir' will be disbanded for the summer with the thanks of the entire church.

Missionary from Africa speaking at Calvary Memorial Church in Racine.
Name: Bertha Belch.
Announcement: "Come tonight and hear Bertha Belch all the way from Africa."

Announcement in a church bulletin for a National Prayer & Fasting
Conference: "The cost for attending the Fasting & Prayer conference includes meals".

ADDED 3/98

Scouts are saving aluminum cans, bottles, and other items to be recycled. Proceeds will be used to cripple children.

The outreach committee has enlisted 25 visitors to make calls on people who are not afflicted with any church.

The Ladies Bible Study will be held Thursday morning at 10.  All ladies are invited to lunch in the Fellowship Hall after the B.S. is done.

Evening massage - 6 p.m.

The Pastor would appreciate it if the ladies of the congregation would lend him their electric girdles for the pancake breakfast next Sunday morning.

The audience is asked to remain seated until the end of the recession.

Low Self-Esteem Support Group will meet Thursday at 7 to 8:30 p.m.  Please use the back door.

Ushers will eat latecomers.

The third verse of Blessed Assurance will be sung without musical accomplishment.

For those of you who have children and don't know it, we have a nursery downstairs.

The Rev. Merriwether spoke briefly, much to the delight of the audience.

The pastor will preach his farewell message, after which the choir will sing, "Break Forth Into Joy."

During the absence of our pastor, we enjoyed the rare privilege of hearing a good sermon when J.F. Stubbs supplied our pulpit.

Next Sunday Mrs. Vinson will be soloist for the morning service.  The pastor will then speak on "It's a Terrible Experience."

Due to the Rector's illness, Wednesday's healing services will be discontinued until further notice.

Stewardship Offertory: "Jesus Paid It All"

The music for today's service was all composed by George Friedrich Handel in celebration of the 300th anniversary of his birth.

Remember in prayer the many who are sick of our church and community.

The eighth-graders will be presenting Shakespeare's Hamlet in the church basement on Friday at 7 p.m.  The congregation is invited to attend this tragedy.

The concert held in the Fellowship Hall was a great success.  Special thanks are due to the minister's daughter, who labored the whole evening at the piano, which as usual fell upon her.

22 members were present at the church meeting held at the home of Mrs. Marsha Crutchfield last evening.  Mrs. Crutchfield and Mrs. Rankin sang a duet, The Lord Knows Why.

A song fest was hell at the Methodist church Wednesday.

Today's Sermon: HOW MUCH CAN A MAN DRINK? with hymns from a full choir.

Hymn 43: "Great God, what do I see here?"
Preacher: The Rev. Horace Blodgett
Hymn 47: "Hark! an awful voice is sounding".

On a church bulletin during the minister's illness: GOD IS GOOD Dr. Hargreaves is better.

Potluck supper: prayer and medication to follow.

Don't let worry kill you off - let the church help.

The 1997 Spring Council Retreat will be hell May 10 and 11.

Pastor is on vacation.  Massages can be given to church secretary.

8 new choir robes are currently needed, due to the addition of several new members and to the deterioration of some older ones.

The choir invites any member of the congregation who enjoys sinning to join the choir.

Please join us as we show our support for Amy and Alan in preparing for the girth of their first child.

Weight Watchers will meet at 7 p.m.   Please use large double door at the side entrance.

[back to top]

International Signage Bloopers

ADDED 7/99

Hotel Signs
"Anguished English" by Richard Lederer.

In a Tokyo Hotel: It is forbidden to steal hotel towels please.  If you are not person to do such thing is please not to read notis.

In another Japanese hotel room: Please to bathe inside the tub.

In a Bucharest hotel lobby: The lift is being fixed for the next day.  During that time we regret that you will be unbearable.

In a Leipzig elevator: Do not enter the lift backwards, and only when lit up.

In a Belgrade hotel elevator: To move the cabin, push button for wishing floor.  If the cabin should enter more persons, each one should press a number of wishing floor.   Driving is then going alphabetically by national order.

In a Paris hotel elevator: Please leave your values at the front desk.

In a hotel in Athens: Visitors are expected to complain at the office between the hours of 9 and 11 A.M. daily.

In a Yugoslavian hotel: The flattening of underwear with pleasure is the job of the chambermaid.

In a Japanese hotel: You are invited to take advantage of the chambermaid.

In the lobby of a Moscow hotel across from a Russian Orthodox monastary: You are welcome to visit the cemetary where famous Russian and Soviet composers, artists, and writers are buried daily except Thursday.

In an Austrian hotel catering to skiers: Not to perambulate the corridors in the hours of repose in the boots of ascension.

On the menu of a Swiss restaurant: Our wines leave you nothing to hope for.

On the menu of a Polish hotel: Salad a firm's own make; limpid red beet soup with cheesy dumplings in the form of a finger; roasted duck let loose; beef rashers beaten up in the country people's fashion.

In a Hong Kong supermarket: For your convenience, we recommend coureous, efficient self-service.

Outside a Hong Kong tailor shop: Ladies may have a fit upstairs.

In a Bangkok dry cleaner's: Drop your trousers here for best results.

Outside a Paris dress shop: Dresses for street walking.

In a Rhodes tailor shop: Order your summers suit. Because is big rush we will execute customers in strict rotation.

Similarly, from the Soviet Weekly: There will be a Moscow Exhibition af Arts by 15000 Soviet Republic painters and sculptors.  These were executed over the past two years.

In an East African newspaper: A new swimming pool is rapidly taking shape since the contractors have thrown in the bulk of their workers.

In a Vienna hotel: In case of fire, do your utmost to alarm the hotel porter.

A sign posted in Germany's Black Forest: It is strictly forbidden on our black forest camping site that people of different sex, for instance, men and women, live together in one tent unless they are married with each other for that purpose.

In a Zurich hotel: Because of the impropriety of entertaining guests of the opposite sex in the bedroom, it is suggested that the lobby be used for this purpose.

In an advertisement by a Hong Kong dentist: Teeth extracted by the latest Methodists.

A translated sentence from a Russian chess book: A lot of water has been passed under the bridge since this variation has been played.

In a Rome laundry: Ladies, leave your clothes here and spend the afternoon having a good time.

In a Czechoslovakian tourist agency: Take one of our horse-driven city tours -- we guarantee no miscarriages.

Advertisement for donkey rides in Thailand: Would you like to ride on your own ass?

On the faucet in a Finnish washroom: To stop the drip, turn cock to right.

In the window of a Swedish furrier: Fur coats made for ladies from their own skin.

On the box of a clockwork toy made in Hong Kong: Guaranteed to work throughout its useful life.

Detour sign in Kyushi, Japan: Stop: Drive Sideways.

In a Swiss mountain inn: Special today -- no ice cream.

In a Bangkok temple: It is forbidden to enter a woman even a foreigner if dressed as a man.

In a Tokyo bar: Special cocktails for the ladies with nuts.

In a Copenhagen airline ticket office: We take your bags and send them in all directions.

On the door of a Moscow hotel room: If this is your first visit to the USSR, you are welcome to it.

In a Norwegian cocktail lounge: Ladies are requested not to have children in the bar.

At a Budapest zoo: Please do not feed the animals. If you have any suitable food, give it to the guard on duty.

In the office of a Roman doctor: Specialist in women and other diseases.

In an Acapulco hotel: The manager has personally passed all the water served here.

In a Tokyo shop: Our nylons cost more than common, but you'll find they are best in the long run.

From a Japanese information booklet about using a hotel air conditioner: Cooles and Heates: If you want just condition of warm in your room, please control yourself.

From a brochure of a car rental firm in Tokyo: When passenger of foot heave in sight, tootle the horn. Trumpet him melodiously at first, but if he still obstacles your passage then tootle him with vigor.

Two signs from a Majorcan shop entrance:
- English well talking.
- Here speeching American.

[back to top]

Newspaper Bloopers:

ADDED 2/03

"Woman Says Legs Are Too Long but Complainants Say Skirt Is Too Short"
-- PA headline

"French Police Suspect Nudist Site Has Something to Hide"
-- AFP headline

ADDED 1/01

Double-Hand Transplant Patient Applauds Operation

ADDED 7/99

Bridgewater, NJ "Courier-News"

Charleston, SC "Evening Post"

Minneapolis, MN "Star Tribune"

Edmonton, Alberta

Pasadena, CA "Star News"

London "Daily Telegraph

Moines, IA "Register"

Honolulu, HI "Downtown Planet"

Knoxville, TN "News-Sentinel"

El Paso, TX "Times"

New York, NY "Wall Street Journal"

And, from newspapers unknown...

Grandmother of eight makes hole in one

Deaf mute gets new hearing in killing

Stiff opposition expected to casketless funeral plan

Two convicts evade noose, jury hung

Milk drinkers are turning to powder

Quarter of a million Chinese live on water

Queen Mary having bottom scraped

NJ judge to rule on nude beach

Dr. Ruth to talk about sex with newspaper editors

Squad helps dog bite victim

Dealers will hear car talk at noon

Lawmen from Mexico barbecue guests

Two Soviet ships collide - one dies

Nicaragua sets goal to wipe out literacy

Drunk drivers paid $1,000 in 1984

Autos killing 110 a day, let's resolve to do better

Smokers are productive, but death cuts efficiency

Child's death ruins couple's holiday

Blind woman gets new kidney from dad she hasn't seen in years

Man is fatally slain

Something went wrong in jet crash, experts say

Death causes loneliness, feeling of isolation

ADDED 3/98

Top 39 1997's best actual news headlines

1. Include Your Children when Baking Cookies

2. Something Went Wrong in Jet Crash, Expert Says

3. Police Begin Campaign to Run Down Jaywalkers

4. Safety Experts Say School Bus Passengers Should Be Belted

5. Drunk Gets Nine Months in Violin Case

6. Survivor of Siamese Twins Joins Parents

7. Iraqi Head Seeks Arms

8. Prostitutes Appeal to Pope

9. Panda Mating Fails; Veterinarian Takes Over

10. British Left Waffles on Falkland Islands

11. Lung Cancer in Women Mushrooms

12. Eye Drops Off Shelf

13. Teachers Strike Idle Kids

14. Clinton Wins on Budget, But More Lies Ahead

15. Enraged Cow Injures Farmer With Ax

16. Plane Too Close to Ground, Crash Probe Told

17. Miners Refuse to Work after Death

18. Juvenile Court to Try Shooting Defendant

19. Stolen Painting Found by Tree

20. Two Sisters Reunited After 18 Years in Checkout Counter

21. Killer Sentenced to Die for Second Times in 10 Years

22. Never Withhold Herpes Infection from Loved One

23. War Dims Hope for Peace

24. If Strike Isn't Settled Quickly, It May Last a While

25. Cold Wave Linked to Temperatures

26. Deer Kill 17,000

27. Enfields Couple Slain; Police Suspect Homicide

28. Red Tape Holds Up New Bridges

29. Typhoon Rips Through Cemetery; Hundreds Dead

30. Man Struck By Lightning Faces Battery Charge

31. New Study of Obesity Looks for Larger Test Group

32. Astronaut Takes Blame for Gas in Spacecraft

33. Kids Make Nutritious Snacks

34. Chef Throws His Heart into Helping Feed Needy

35. Arson Suspect Held in Massachusetts Fire

36. Ban On Soliciting Dead in Trotwood

37. Local High School Dropouts Cut in Half

38. New Vaccine May Contain Rabies

39. Hospitals are Sued by 7 Foot Doctors


ADDED 2/98

The Tallahassee Bugle

The Anchorage Alaska Times

GOVERNOR'S PENIS BUSY [should be "Pen Is"]
The New Haven Connecticut Register

The Arkansas Plainsman

Bangor Maine News

The Washington Times


San Antonio Rose

Chicago Daily News

The Miami Herald

The New Haven Connecticut Register

The Tallahassee Democrat

The Houston Chronicle

[back to top]