General Question

Strauss's avatar

Who is "this man"?

Asked by Strauss (22880points) June 7th, 2009

I heard this riddle when I was young. I have seen it stump a lot of people, and it has launched many discussions. It goes like this:

A man is arrested and put in jail. Another man comes to post his bail. In order to post bail, the jailer asks the second man to identify his relationship with the man in jail. The man replies:

Brothers and sisters I have none,
But this man’s father is my father’s son.

Who is this man?

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27 Answers

NaturalMineralWater's avatar

“This man” is the prisoner’s father.

La_chica_gomela's avatar

removed because now I’m not sure
Edited again! Good point shrub. Okay, now I think bailer-outer is the arrested guy’s dad.

Strauss's avatar

I’ll give the answer in 3 days…

shrubbery's avatar

But he can’t be the grandfather because then “this man’s” father would then be “my son”, not “my father’s son”. It doesn’t work. And he can’t be the prisoner’s father, because that would imply he has a brother, which he states he doesn’t.

Saturated_Brain's avatar

It’s the prisoner’s father. He’s simply referring to himself in third person, no?

La_chica_gomela's avatar

@shrubbery: I don’t see why it would imply his has a brother? He’s saying sort of saying ‘I am my father’s son’.

Strauss's avatar

Point of clarification: “this man”=the prisoner

_bob's avatar

The father is bailing out the son.

DrasticDreamer's avatar

Yes. I think the father is bailing out his son, too.

archaeopteryx's avatar

Okay, wait a minute:

He’s saying has not brothers or sisters: “Brothers and sisters I have none”,
but then he says “This man’s father is my father’s son.”.

He can’t be his uncle since he has no brothers. But I guess he can be his father..
Because he might be referring to himself in third-person.

So, yes I think the father’s bailing out his son as well.

oratio's avatar

George H. W. Bush?

augustlan's avatar

The prisoner is the bailer-outer’s son.

shrubbery's avatar

@La_chica_gomela, yeah, oops, I stuffed up, I think I meant to say he can’t be his uncle, so I think I agree that he is the father and talking about himself in third person…

NaturalMineralWater's avatar

Ok, if you want to reword it so that this man is the prisoner than yes.. the prisoner is the bailer outers son.

whatthefluther's avatar

@NaturalMineralWater…Allow me to give credit where credit is due (your first post, way at the top). See ya…wtf

PandoraBoxx's avatar

The second man is the first man’s father. He’s saying, “I’m an only child. His father is my father’s son.”

casheroo's avatar

He’s the guys father.
The second guys father’s only son is himself. He’s the father.

Bagardbilla's avatar

Can’t the ‘bailer out’ be the Jailed’s half uncle? (from another marriage in which he’s the only child, but is the ‘Jailed’s fathers’ half brotha from anotha motha?

AstroChuck's avatar

A priest. Jesus. The illegitimate son of the bailpayer’s priest? Oh, hell. I give up.

DrBill's avatar

The Father is bailing out his son

AstroChuck's avatar

Oh, of course. Duh.

Bagardbilla's avatar

I’m moist with anticipation!
is it 3 days yet?

Strauss's avatar


The speaker is posting bail for “this man”.
Brothers and sisters I have none—obviously, no siblings
This man’s father is my father’s son—so if you reverse the sentence to:

My father’s son (the speaker) is this man’s father

therefore Dad is posting bail for his son, and is none too proud of it!

Strauss's avatar

@Bagardbilla I hope this dries you out :)

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