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 March 10, 2016
“Why can’t you borrow money from a leprechaun?"/"Because they’re always a little short.”

A popular St. Patrick’s Day joke is:

Q: Why can’t you borrow money from a leprechaun?
A: Because they’re always a little short.


The joke has been cited in print since at least 1996.


Kith and Kin (Marshfield Area Genealogy Group, Marshfield, WI)
March/April 1996
Pg. 5:
HOW IRISH ARE YOU?
TEST YOUR I. Q. (IRISH QUOTIENT)
(...)
5. Why can’t you borrow money from a leprechaun?
Answers:
5. He’s always a little short.

Google Groups: alt.personals.ads
ST. PATRICK COMES OUT OF THE CLOSET!
Marsha Ann Folks
3/4/96
(...)
Q:  Why can’t you borrow money from a Leprechaun?
A:  They’re always a little short.  (groan...)

16 March 1999, The Pennysaver (Chicago, IL), “Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day” (Hawkinson Ford ad), pg. 23, col. 1:
3. Why can’t you borrow money from a leprechaun?
THEY’RE ALWAYS A LITTLE SHORT.

Google Groups: alt.humor.puns
“Puns of the Weak” 3/16/01
Stan Kegel
3/17/01
(...)
And, why can’t you borrow money from a leprechaun? Sure, because they’re always a little short. (Simon and Hirsch)

Google Books
Bloopers, Blunders, Jokes, Quips & Quotes
By Jim Kraus
Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers
2005
Pg. 224:
Q: Why can’t you borrow money from a leprechaun?
A: Because they’re always a little short.

Google Books
The Best a Man Walks Into a Bar-- Jokes
By Billy Brownless
Crows Nest NSW: Allen & Unwin
2009
Pg. 17:
A LEPRECHAUN WALKS INTO A BAR. The bartender serves him and says, ‘That’ll be $2.50.’ The leprechaun puts two $1 coins on the bar and starts walking away. The bartender shouts, ‘You’re a little short!’

Twitter
Shamrock
‏@Shambo
Sean O’Shambo’s Stupid Irish Joke de Jour: Q: Why can’t you borrow money from a leprechaun?  A: Because they’re always a little short.
2:38 PM - 8 Mar 2009

Google Books
The Everything Big Book of Jokes:
Hundreds of the Shortest, Longest, Silliest, Smartest, Most Hilarious Jokes You’Ve Never Heard!

By Evan C. Thomas
Avon, Ma: Adams Media
2014
Pg. 105:
WHY IS IT DIFFICULT TO borrow money from a leprechaun? Because he’s always a little short.

Google Books
St Patrick’s Day Jokes
By Peter Crumpton
PeteyRF Creative
2015
Pg. ?:
Why can’t you borrow money from a leprechaun?
Because they’re always a little short.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityBanking/Finance/Insurance • Thursday, March 10, 2016 • Permalink