A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from May 27, 2018
“What’s a wok?"/"Something you fwow at a wabbit.”

A popular riddle about a wok (a cooking utensil) has been printed on several images:

Q: What is a wok?
A: Something you fwow at a wabbit when you don’t have a wifle.


The dialect is that of fictional cartoon character Elmer J. Fudd, who is always hunting Bugs Bunny in the famous Looney Tunes cartoons. The person is saying that a “wok” (rock) is something you “fwow” (throw) at a “wabbit” (rabbit) when you don’t have a “wifle” (rifle). The joke was printed in many newspapers in January 1957 in this form:

“If a Wave is a female sailor, and a WAC is a female soldier, what is a Wok?”
“I give up.”
“A Wok is what we fwow at a wabbit.”



Wikipedia: Wok
A wok (from Cantonese: 鑊) is a versatile round-bottomed cooking vessel, originating from China. The use of the wok is very prevalent in South China (particularly Guangdong Province). It is one of the most common cooking utensils in China and also found in parts of East, South and Southeast Asia, as well as becoming a popular niche cookware in all the world.

Woks are used in a range of different Chinese cooking techniques, including stir frying, steaming, pan frying, deep frying, poaching, boiling, braising, searing, stewing, making soup, smoking and roasting nuts. 

Wikipedia: Elmer Fudd
Elmer J. Fudd is a fictional cartoon character and one of the most famous Looney Tunes characters, and the de facto archenemy of Bugs Bunny. He has one of the more disputed origins in the Warner Bros. cartoon pantheon (second only to Bugs himself). His aim is to hunt Bugs, but he usually ends up seriously injuring himself and other antagonizing characters. He speaks in an unusual way, replacing his Rs and Ls with Ws, so he always refers to Bugs Bunny as a “scwewy wabbit”. Elmer’s signature catchphrase is, “Shhh. Be vewy vewy quiet, I’m hunting wabbits”, as well as his trademark laughter. 

11 January 1957, Detroit (MI) Free Press, “today’s Chuckle,” pg. 1, right masthead:
“If a Wave is a female sailor, and a WAC is a female soldier, what is a Wok?”
“I give up.”
“A Wok is what we fwow at a wabbit.”
Challenger

15 January 1957, Fort Worth (TX) Star-Telegram, “Today’s Chuckle,” pg. 1, col. 2:
“If a Wave is a female sailor, and a WAC is a female soldier, what is a Wok?”
“I give up.”
“A wok is what we fwow at a wabbit.”
(Copyright 1957 General Features Corp.)

14 July 1967, Northwest Arkansas Times (Fayetteville, AR), pg. 13, col. 6 classified ad:
WHAT’S A WOK?
A wok isn’t sumfin you fro’ at a wabbit. A wok is a Chinese cooking pot. See the big Woks at Suzie Wong’s.
Rice Bowl
Hwy 112 North

19 August 1970, Akron (OH) Beacon Journal, pg. A5, col. 2:
What Is A Wok?
(...)
One man said a “wok is what you frow at widdle wabbits.”

29 December 1971, Corpus Christ (TX) Times, “Happy Hubby Hit With Wok” by Ann Simer, pg. E1, col. 1:
Moe’s big present, Blanche told me, was a wok.

“A what?” I asked.

“A wok. Don’t you know what a wok is?”

“Yeah. It’s something you fwow at a wabbit.”

14 August 1983, At. Louis (MO) Post-Dispatch, “A Voice to Drive You...” by Elaine Viets, PD Sunday Magazine, pg. 2, col. 2:
In other words, it sounds like that old joke: What’s a wok? A place for a wabbit to west.

Google Groups: rec.food.cooking
I seek help in buying a wok!
Al Knoll
1/24/91
(...)
Al (wok is wat you fwow at a wabbit wen you fowgot you wifle) not my quote

Google Groups: rec.humor
Henry III Joke List
m...@dixie.com
6/19/91
(...)
What’s a wok?
Something you thwow at a wabbit!

Google Groups: alt.humor.puns
“Puns of the Weak” 9/29/00
Stan Kegel
9/30/00
(...)
Wok: What you fwow at a wabbit. (Aiken Drum)

Twitter
Fortune Tweets
@fortunetweet
wok, n.:
Something to thwow at a wabbit.
12:57 AM - 10 May 2008

Google Books
Ultimate Book of Jokes:
The Essential Collection of More Than 1,500 Jokes

By Scott McNeely
San Francisco, CA: Chronicle Books
2011
Pg. 322:
Q: What’s a wok?
A: Something you throw at a wabbit.

YouTube
Jokes - What’s a wok? Something you throw at a wabbit.
jokesus
Published on Oct 5, 2015
Joke :
What’s a wok?
Something you throw at a wabbit.

Reddit—Jokes
What is a wok?
submitted December 5, 2016 by fatcatandgingy
A wok is sumting you twow at wabbits.

Twitter
Murphy’s Law
@frum_reaganite
Replying to @frum_reaganite @DefiantlyFree and 12 others
What’s a Wok?
Something you throw at a Wabbit.
11:00 AM - 18 Jan 2018

Reddit—Dad Jokes
Do you know what a wok is? (self.dadjokes)
submitted May 27, 2018 by craic-house
It’s what you throw at a wabbit when you ain’t got a wifle.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityFood/Drink • Sunday, May 27, 2018 • Permalink