Imagine you’re at a great party.
Suddenly, you look across the room and see the boy or girl of your dreams.
You want to go over and say hello, but you don’t know what you should say.
But it doesn’t have to be like that! If you learn some pick-up lines from this post, you can start a conversation with lots of people and make your friends laugh, too.
The best part is that you can learn a lot of fun vocabulary and culture from these lines, too, even if you’re not looking for love!
What Is a Pick-up Line and When Do People Use Them?
A pick-up line is a line (phrase) that someone says to try to pick up (get the attention of) a stranger who they’re interested in romantically. Pick-up lines are most often used at bars, parties and other social events.
When you’re talking to someone who you’re interested in romantically, it can be called flirting when you give them compliments. That’s a verb, “to flirt,” and a synonym is “to hit on” someone. Be sure to include the “on,” because to simply “hit someone” is very different!
The phrasal verb “pick up” can have a few different meanings. If you pick up someone in this context, it usually means that you get that person to give you his or her phone number or to meet you for a date sometime later.
I said “his or her,” but pick-up lines are usually used more by men. I’m not sure why this is, but everyone can think they’re funny and learn from them.
Pick-up lines have a strange reputation. Most people think the lines are stupid and cheesy (not cool). But at the same time, most people also think the lines are funny, so sometimes they’re used just to make the other person laugh.
Why Should You Learn Pick-up Lines in English?
You should learn these lines because they’re great for improving your vocabulary and fluency. Most pick-up lines are funny because they play on words and their meanings in an unexpected way. So if you can understand the double meanings of the lines, it’s probably a good indication that your English level is improving.
Pick-up lines can also help you better understand the culture of English-speaking countries. They’re common in movies, TV shows and songs. And if you ever hear one of these at a party or a bar, it’ll be useful to know if someone is hitting on you!
Plus, you can even use a pick-up line as an “ice-breaker” when talking with your friends, or any time you want to have a laugh. Just beware: The person you’re talking to might laugh at you… and then maybe give you their phone number!
10 Funny Pick-up Lines to Help You Learn English
Here we go! Basically all of these are cheesy and not serious, but they can be hilarious when used correctly (or also incorrectly, really). I chose them because if you ask someone, “What’s the funniest/weirdest/dumbest pick-up line you’ve heard?” then he or she will probably tell you one of the phrases on this list. Enjoy!
1. What’s your sign?
Ah, the classic pick-up line! Most English speakers would probably say that this line started in the 1960s or 1970s, maybe with hippies that were really into space and astrology.
In this line, the word “sign” means an astrological sign on the zodiac (like Taurus, Pisces, Sagittarius, etc.). Astrological signs are thought to be associated with a person’s personality. So by asking for your sign, it means the asker is interested in knowing more about you.
But be careful, because this line might backfire (have the opposite effect of what you expect). The person you’re talking to could say that their sign is “stop,” like the traffic sign!
2. You must be tired, because you’ve been running through my mind all day.
You probably know the verb “run.” It normally means to walk or jog really quickly. If someone was running all day long, they would be really tired.
That’s the first meaning of this pick-up line, but there’s a play on words. If someone or something is “running through your mind,” it means you’re thinking about that thing or person.
So with this line, you’re basically saying that you’ve been thinking about the other person all day. The person won’t actually be tired just from “running through your mind” because they haven’t physically been running. That’s the joke.
It almost sounds sweet, doesn’t it?
3. If I said you had a nice body, would you hold it against me?
Here’s another great example of a line that plays with the meaning of words.
The phrase “hold it against me” is a synonym of “be angry with me.” For example, if you say that my shoes look stupid, I may be mad, and hold it against you. So, because of your comment, I might not let you come shopping with me next time.
But, as you may know, “hold against” can also mean to hold two things together. So in this case, the speaker wants their bodies to be held against each other, or in other words, to get close and touch.
The double meaning is what makes it funny/clever.
4. Do you believe in love at first sight, or should I walk by again?
This is one of my favorites, maybe because it seems a bit desperate.
You may have heard of love at first sight—that’s when you instantly fall in love with a person the first time you see him or her.
But with this phrase, the speaker is offering to walk by again if the other person doesn’t believe in love at first sight. This way, if the speaker walks by a second or third time, they’ve created the possibility of “love at second sight” or “third sight,” etc.
5. If I could rearrange the alphabet, I’d put U and I together.
This line plays with homophones (two different words that sound the same). In this case, the letters “U” and “I” sound like the words “you” and “I.” The word “rearrange” means to put something in a different order.
So basically, like all pick-up lines, the speaker just wants to get closer to the listener.
One grammar comment: This example is technically incorrect. You should say “I’d put you and me together,” since here we should use object pronouns (like “me”) and not subject pronouns (like “I”). But like many things in English, sometimes even native speakers don’t speak 100% grammatically correct. Plus, it would also ruin the joke!
6. Is it hot in here, or is it just you?
This line plays with words, but in a different way. Here it takes one common phrase that people might expect, and changes it a little bit.
If you feel hot (or cold), but you’re not sure if it’s just you who feels hot (or cold), then you might ask, “Is it hot/cold in here, or is it just me?”
Here the speaker just replaces “just me” with “just you,” indicating that the listener is hot (attractive).
Also note here that usually the word “hot” does not necessarily mean that you want to get physical, like in some languages. If a person really wants to get intimate (make love), the adjective is “horny.”
In this context, though, “hot” just means attractive, pretty, beautiful, handsome, etc. See, I told you that you might learn some useful new vocabulary!
7. Was that an earthquake, or did you just rock my world?
If someone or something “rocks,” that person or thing is excellent. So, I could say “Wow, you rock!” meaning “Wow, you’re awesome!” If that thing (or person) is really awesome, you can say it “rocks my world.”
The verb “rock” also describes a side-to-side movement (imagine rocking a sleeping baby in your arms, for example). If there’s an earthquake, the ground shakes and rocks.
So in this line, you’re basically saying that the person is really cool because they rocked your world! But you’re using an earthquake so you can make a play on words with the verb “rock.”
8. Want to go outside with me and get some air? You took my breath away!
If you’re at a party and it’s hot or stuffy (hard to breathe), then you may want to go outside for a few minutes to “get some air.”
But in this line, you’re saying that you need the air because the other person has taken your breath (air) away.
They didn’t literally steal your air, though. Here’s the second meaning: When someone takes your breath away, it means that you’re astonished (surprised) by someone’s beauty.
So you’re giving a big compliment when you use this pick-up line.
9. Are you Jamaican? Because “Jamaican” me crazy!
This one plays with vocabulary and pronunciation! A Jamaican person comes from Jamaica, so we can understand the first question.
But the second part of this pick-up line may sound strange at first. If you pronounce it a bit differently, “Jamaican” sounds like “you’re makin'”: You’re making me crazy!
In this case, being crazy is a good thing, meaning that the speaker is in love.
10. Here I am. What were your other two wishes?
I like this one because somehow it’s cheesy and arrogant.
You’ve probably heard stories about a magic bottle or lamp with a genie inside who always gives three wishes.
The idea here is that the speaker thinks he or she is so incredible, they’re like a wish come true. The speaker is suggesting that the listener used one of three wishes to wish for the speaker to appear.
So now the listener only has two remaining wishes—and hopefully the next wish isn’t “Please go away!”
There you have it: Enough classic and fun pick-up lines to make everyone laugh the next time you’re practicing your English. Good luck, and happy flirting!
Ryan Sitzman teaches English and sometimes German in Costa Rica. He is passionate about learning, coffee, traveling, languages, writing, photography, books, and movies, but not necessarily in that order. You can learn more or connect with him through his website Sitzman ABC.
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