Funny Signs from Around the World
Signs can be our biggest allies; they can also lead us far astray. Either way, we rely on signs heavily—especially in unfamiliar places—so we take care to read every word. And sometimes, what we see is, well, hilarious.
Whether the language is unintentionally misleading or lost in translation, or an illustration isn’t quite right, it makes for a shareable moment. So the camera comes out and the photo goes up—on our social media profiles, Flickr pages, blogs, and the community section of Travel + Leisure. We pulled the ones from our community members that made us laugh, in hopes that they’d work the same magic on you.
Sometimes the humor comes in the use (or lack) of questionable punctuation, such as one sign that reads caution pedestrians slippery when wet. A couple of commas would clarify that it is not, in fact, the pedestrians that are slippery when wet. (We hope.)
Others are intentionally funny, like one posted to deter would-be parking violators from taking a reserved spot: air will be taken out of tires and license plates removed from unauthorized parkers. If that doesn’t stop you, nothing will. In Beijing, meanwhile, a road sign shows friendly, cartoon-like cops and suggests that traffic tickets will be served with a smile.
Then there are those that are just downright strange and leave you scratching your head. One triangular street sign bears no words, but dramatically illustrates a person in a wheelchair speeding down a hill toward the open mouth of an alligator. Another photo captures a store with conflicting “closing” and “now hiring” signs—so much for job security?
See these and other funny signs in our slideshow. And if you’ve come across any in your travels, don’t keep them to yourself. Leave a comment below and let us in on the joke.
Just in case you weren’t sure, these designated trees are officially big.
What? You thought candy corn was synthetic? Silly.
A.k.a., the official club of the silver-lining supporters.
Fear: the best way to bring in new customers.
First came the free-range chickens, and then came…
Nothing says job security like a closing business!
You better hope there isn’t an emergency.
Can’t say they didn’t warn you.
You definitely don’t want to get caught in the rain here.
Is this an unsuspecting battlefield?
Official Mafia gathering spot.
Don’t even think about fishing for fish.
So…a country where beer is for children and the wine is English?
It’s about time that dogs start taking some personal responsibility.
Let’s not sugarcoat things, okay?
Translation: Keep off the grass.
Mix one part humor with one part morbid.
Let’s just turn around and head back, shall we?
For those of you who are new to this practice, a little tutorial.
Some will laugh at this. Some will be sad.
Oh yeah? Says who? Seems to be doing a fine job being open.
Don’t even think about playing your bugle here.
Attention: If you hit a bird with your car, the animal will fall onto its back.
Rebel without a cause.
Clean and free? This is one bathroom we must see!
Head left if you like surprises.
Stand back. Seriously, way back.
We can’t even begin to guess what this is telling him to do.
Trespassing without asking? Really, where are your manners?
Caution: Wheelchairs drawn to alligator mouths.
Traffic tickets, now served with a smile.