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 April 08, 2015
“What did the acorn say when it grew up?” (math joke)

It’s one of the oldest math jokes, told by teachers and students every year:

Question: What did the acorn say when he grew up?
Answer: Geometry (Gee, I’m a tree).


The corny joke has been cited in print since at least 1962.


4 November 1962, The Times-Picayune (New Orleans, LA), sec. 3, pg. 16, col. 8:
High schoolers should know:

Q. What does an acorn say when it grows up?
A. “Geometry.”
(From the book Riddle-De-Dee by Bennett Cerf.—ed.)

1 March 1964, Cedar Rapids (IA) Gazette, “Buz Sawyer” comic strip by Roy Crane, comics section:
WHAT DID THE ACORN SAY WHEN HE GREW UP?
OKAY, WHAT DID THE ACORN SAY?
GEOMETRY! “GEE, AH’M A TREE!” HEE, HEE, HEE, HEE! GEOMETRY!

Google News Archive
16 July 1965, The Deseret New (Salt Lake City, UT), “Tell Me” by A. Leokum, pg. 2B, col. 4:
What did the acorn say when it grew up?
Geometry.

Google News Archive
23 February 1966, The Free Lance-Star (Fredereicksburg, VA), “Fun Time—Riddle Box,” pg. 19, col. 2:
What does an acorn say when it grows up?
Geometry.

Google Books
Jokes, Puns, and Riddles
By David Allen Clark
Garden City, NY: Doubleday
1968
Pg. 202:
Question: What did the acorn say when he grew up?
Answer: Geometry (Gee, I’m a tree).

Google Books
Mind Your A’s and Q’s:
Useless Questions to Dumb Answers

By Jack Stokes
Garden City, NY: Doubleday
1977
Pg. 26:
A. Geometry
Q. What did the little acorn say when it grew up?

Google Books
The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Understanding Einstein
By Gary Moring
Indianapolis, IN: Alpha Books
2000
Pg. 26:
One of the areas in mathematics that interested him most was geometry. (A little math humor: What did the acorn say when he grew up? “Gee, I’m a tree.”)

Twitter
Kassey Green
‏@kassey_green
My math teacher:
“I have a joke! What did the acorn say when he grew up? ... Gee, I’m a tree!”
We started our geometry unit today
9:51 PM - 2 Apr 2015

myCentralJersey.com
OVER THE EDGE: The three certainties of (my) life
Bradley W. Wadlow, @BradWadlowMyCJ
12:09 a.m. EDT April 9, 2015
There are three things in life that are for certain: Death, taxes and I can’t do math. Not necessarily in that order.
(...)
Don’t get me started on what little acorns say when they grow up.

The answer: Geometry (gee, I’m a tree).

Feel free to insert a groan here.

But, that “gee, I’m a tree” joke is about the only thing I remember from Robert Bradman’s geometry class back in high school (sorry, Mr. Bradman, wherever you are), and explains the fact why I went into journalism and further bolsters the theory that I need heavy-duty medication.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityEducation/Schools • Wednesday, April 08, 2015 • Permalink