Ask a silly question and you'll get a silly answer


      • dismiss someone's question or inquiry
        Respond to a question with a sarcastic or nonsensical answer, implying that the question was unnecessary or trivial

      • teach a lesson
        Use a silly or absurd answer to highlight the foolishness of a question or to discourage someone from asking similar questions in the future

    Examples of Ask a silly question and you'll get a silly answer

    • "Why don't we see elephants hiding in trees? Because they're so good at it!" I chuckled at my grandpa's use of the old adage, "ask a silly question, and you'll get a silly answer."

      The question about elephants hiding is nonsensical since elephants do not climb trees. The witty reply aligns with the idiom, providing a humorously absurd answer to match the question's silliness.

    • When I asked my teacher if the moon was made of cheese, she quipped, "Only during the full moon; that's when it's ripe for harvest!"—a perfect example of ask a silly question and you'll get a silly answer.

      The question about the moon being made of cheese is a whimsical and unrealistic inquiry. The teacher's playful response reflects the idiom by giving a jokingly false explanation.

    • Curious if I could swim with the fish, I dropped the silly question, and my friend replied, "Sure, but only if you learn to speak 'fish' first!" Ask a silly question, get a silly answer indeed.

      The query about swimming with fish as if part of their community is illogical. The friend's response humorously suggests the need for an impossible skill, embodying the idiom.

    • “Do you think clouds are made of cotton candy?" I inquired jokingly, to which my sister retorted, "Absolutely, and rain is the sky's way of sharing it!" Clearly, ask a silly question and you'll get a silly answer.

      The playful question about clouds being cotton candy receives a similarly playful answer, demonstrating the idiom by matching the fanciful nature of the question with an equally whimsical reply.

    • In math class, I wondered aloud, "What if numbers get tired of being counted?" The teacher responded with a smile, "That's when they take a nap in your textbook," giving life to ask a silly question and you'll get a silly answer.

      The anthropomorphic suggestion that numbers could get tired is treated humorously, as is appropriate according to the idiom, with the teacher offering a creative and nonliteral response.

    • As I pondered over breakfast, "Do chickens have dreams?" my brother's quick wit produced, "Of course, mostly about crossing the road!" — a straightforward application of ask a silly question, you'll get a silly answer.

      The question about chickens dreaming personifies animals in a whimsical way. The brother's response, with a play on the classic joke, complies with the idiom's spirit of providing an answer as lighthearted as the question.

    • "What happens if you get scared half to death twice?" I playfully inquired, and without missing a beat, my friend quipped, "You're three-quarters scared to death, obviously!" A textbook case of ask a silly question and you'll get a silly answer.

      This question involves an impossibility and is treated with amusement. The friend's mathematically silly response follows the concept of the idiom by treating the question with a similar level of seriousness, which is none at all.

    • At the beach, I mused, "Do fish ever get thirsty?" and my dad retorted, "No, they're always surrounded by drink specials!" Classic case of ask a silly question, get a silly answer.

      The inquiry about fish feeling thirst, despite living in water, is nonsensical. The dad's response takes a clever twist as if referring to a bar's drink specials, aptly fitting the idiom's playful structure.


    This idiom is often used in a playful or humorous manner to brush off a question that is deemed unimportant or foolish. It can also be used as a way to mock or ridicule someone for asking a question that is perceived as obvious or unnecessary. In addition, it can serve as a warning to not take things too seriously and to approach things with a sense of humor.

    Origin of "Ask a silly question and you'll get a silly answer"

    The origin of this idiom is unclear, but it is believed to have originated in the 19th century. It is often attributed to the English writer and poet George Eliot, who wrote in her novel "Daniel Deronda" published in 1876, "It is always worth while to ask a question, though it is not always worthwhile to get an answer." This may have been the inspiration for the popular saying.

    Another possible origin of this idiom is from the British comedy series "Monty Python's Flying Circus." In one of their sketches, a character asks a shopkeeper if he sells cheese, to which the shopkeeper responds with a nonsensical answer. This could have popularized the phrase and made it more widely known.

    Regardless of its exact origin, the idiom "ask a silly question and you'll get a silly answer" has become a common phrase in the English language, often used in casual conversations, jokes, and even in a playful manner when responding to a serious question.