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  • Do you know the difference between a nun in a church and a nun in a bath ?

This sounds as a nun joke, it is not.

  • Well, in church her soul is full of hope...

Then you let your audience figure out the rest. This is art for connoisseurs, and you're not meant to give it away, but since I think most English speakers miss this without knowing, here it is: Her Soul is full of Hope...

Her S-ole is full of H-ope...

This is rude, and meant that way, go on...

Her H-ole is full of S-ope

Her hole is full of soap.

There are thousands of such humorous blasts, hidden in French literature, passed like farts in too stiff dinners by bored gentlemen sharing a laugh in private, published weekly in "L'album de la contesse" the dedicated section of "Le canard Enchainé", a satirical and political weekly read by the establishment.

Now my questions are : Does that exist in english ? Is it even possible beyond a few examples ? What's it called ?

marked as duplicate by Jason Bassford, Mitch, AmE speaker, Community Dec 14 '18 at 8:31

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  • 1
    There are plenty of examples, to the extent that yours, though unfamiliar, was pretty obvious. I'm not sure that a question essentially asking for a list is going to work here though. – Chris H Dec 11 '18 at 16:39
  • I did not ask for a list. How it is called ? Any pointers to more references ? – 7clem Dec 12 '18 at 19:54
  • On re-reading your actual wording, I agree. I think I took too much from your "beyond a few examples ?" – Chris H Dec 12 '18 at 20:29

I'm not aware of a perfect term, but this is a deliberate, suggestive, form of Spoonerism. Spoonerisms were originally accidental but are now often deliberately used for humour. An example closely related to yours, though ruder, relies on "cunning stunts". If you Google it you'll need to add "joke" to your search as it's sufficiently well-established to have been the title of at least two albums.

  • With the help of the previous replies I have found a list of them titled “Stealth Pun”. Descriptive. Is it an accepted term ? The list in question : only contained jokes of a single form “what’s the difference ... Cunning Stunts ... Whereas contrepèterie specifically avoid the form of a joke. I continue my search. I want to make clear that I have no intention of turning this thread into a collection of jokes but to establish weather what the french refer to as contrepèterie has an equivalent. Thanks for your support. I ask for mercy to the post police that seem on their toes here. – 7clem Dec 13 '18 at 10:49
  • I'm not sure how widespread "stealth pun" is but it's easy enough to understand – Chris H Dec 13 '18 at 11:48

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