Sometimes things simply get lost in translation, even if you're speaking the same language. In the case of these older Batman comics, it seems as if time acts as a totally different language. Luckily for us, a small disconnect in colloquial language leads to some pretty funny misreadings today.
This is far from new information, and if you've spent enough time on the Internet chances are you've already seen it. But does it ever get old having a good chuckle over the word "boner?" Maybe it's my childish sense of humor, but I don't think so.
Today we know the word "boner" to mean... well, we all know what it means. Apparently when this issue of Batman was released in 1951, the term was generally used to describe a blunder or mishap.
That being said, the word "boner" took on its prurient meaning somewhere around that time, so this could also be a not-so-subtly placed joke between the writers.
For those who did know the alternate meaning of the word, this would be a funny dirty joke. And anyone who's not in the know would be none the wiser!
In total, the writers used the word "boner" around 40 times in the twelve-page-lone issue. Also the unmistakably erect totem pole of The Joker on the cover, making this seem like perhaps it was more than just a coincidence.
Seeing Batman and Robin cower in fright due to The Joker's boner isn't something I ever thought I'd see. And yet, here we are. What a wonderful time to be alive.