Sofia sophistry and paronomasia

'A pun is its own reword.'

‘A pun is its own reword.’

A friend recently sent me an array of English puns, which you can read below. How to define a pun, or paronomasia (a new word for me, I must admit)? This paragraph seemed to succeed:

“Take this example – ‘A pun is its own reword’. Guess this perfectly suffices the definition of a pun. A pun, or paronomasia, is literally the rewording or rephrasing of words that exhibit numerous humorous meanings. A kind of word play, puns add beauty and ambiguity to a speech as they are fun to hear.”

Oxford Online adds:

ORIGIN late 16th cent.: via Latin from Greek paronomasia, from para- ‘beside’ (expressing alteration) + onomasia ‘naming’ (from onomazein ‘to name’, from onoma ‘a name’).

The only limiting factor with puns is that they rarely translate. There’s a load of Bulgarian examples, for instance, requiring a comprehensive knowledge of the language for full appreciation.

Anyway, here’s the list… I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.

For the pedant, a couple of the examples are, arguably, not truly puns. Identify them, if you can – they’re still amusing!

  •  When chemists die, they barium.
  • Jokes about German sausage are the wurst.
  • A soldier who survived mustard gas and pepper spray is now a seasoned veteran.
  • I know a guy who’s addicted to brake fluid. He says he can stop any time.
  • How does Moses make his tea? Hebrews it.
  • I stayed up all night to see where the sun went. Then it dawned on me.
  • This girl said she recognised me from the vegetarian club, but I’d never met herbivore.
  • I’m reading a book about anti-gravity. I can’t put it down.
  • I did a theatrical performance about puns.  It was a play on words.
  • They told me I had Type A blood, but it was a Type-O.
  • A dyslexic man walks into a bra.
  • PMS jokes aren’t funny, period.
  • Why were the Indians here first? They had reservations.
  • Class trip to the Coca-Cola factory; I hope there’s no pop quiz.
  • Energiser bunny arrested. Charged with battery.
  • I didn’t like my beard at first. Then it grew on me.
  • How do you make holy water? Boil the hell out of it!
  • Did you hear about the cross-eyed teacher who lost her job because she couldn’t control her pupils?
  • When you get a bladder infection, urine trouble.
  • What does a clock do when it’s hungry? It goes back four seconds.
  • I wondered why the baseball was getting bigger. Then it hit me!
  • Broken pencils are pointless.
  • I tried to catch some fog. I mist.
  • What do you call a dinosaur with an extensive vocabulary? A thesaurus.
  • England has no kidney bank, but it does have a Liverpool.
  • I used to be a banker, but then I lost interest.
  • I dropped out of communism class because of lousy Marx.
  • All the toilets in New York’s police stations have been stolen. Police have nothing to go on.
  • I got a job at a bakery because I kneaded dough.
  • Haunted French pancakes give me the crepes.
  • Velcro – what a rip off!
  • Cartoonist found dead in home. Details are sketchy.
  • Venison for dinner? Oh deer!
  • Earthquake in Washington obviously Bush’s fault.
  • I used to think I was indecisive, but now I’m not so sure.
  • Be kind to your dentist. He has fillings, too.

Image: paronomasia

Advertisements

Tags: , ,

Please leave a reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: