Is there a word for a false definition given in jest?

I don't know if such a word exists, but I'm interested to know it if it does.

An example of what I mean would be:

Politics - a latin word stemming from
Poli- — meaning many
Ticks — meaning blood-sucking butt lumps

Or this snippet about oil:

ALL - noun. A petroleum-based lubricant.
Usage: "I sure hope my brother from Georgia puts all in my pickup truck."

  • 1
    I don't know if there's a word for this but you just described the premise for the game Balderdash :) – Brendon Nov 15 '11 at 2:45

I think both of your examples are homophonic puns because the joke comes from the how part or all of a word sounds similar to another word, and the words are not synonyms.


It isn't a single word answer, but the process has a whole dictionary devoted to it called the Uxbridge English Dictionary which is also a game in the spoof BBC Radio 4 panel show I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue.

Two definitions picked randomly from an online version (link here):

  • Handicap. A very convenient hat
  • Hijack. A young man under the influence of narcotics

And, of course, the dictionary is available on amazon.

Perhaps we should coin the new term "Uxbridge-ing".

  • 1
    Plus the famous "countryside = to kill Piers Morgan" – mgb Nov 16 '11 at 5:11

They're sometimes called daffynitions, although that word makes me grind my teeth when I hear it. The inverse, by the way, is called a sniglet.

  • 1
    I know. I HATE ducks. – Mateen Ulhaq Nov 16 '11 at 5:15

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