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I am specifically thinking of the Grand Tour episode entitled "A massive hunt". Is there a word that describes this wordplay? It is not a double-entendre, nor is it a homophone.

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  • For those who've deduced the implied rhyme, it's risqué or any of its synonyms: bawdy, racy, suggestive, naughty... Commented Jul 24, 2021 at 23:12
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    Relevant: english.stackexchange.com/questions/505265/… Commented Jul 25, 2021 at 0:56
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    It's not a pun, really; it "rhymes with" — not "sounds like". It's a form of rhyming slang (not the familiar Cockney rhyming slang, but a rhyming slang nonetheless). Commented Jul 25, 2021 at 1:13
  • @TinfoilHat Rhyming slang has to be a vernacular, whereas this is an example of a joke. This would not be repeated with some kind of meaning. And consider that many hair salons use puns in their names: The Elements of Style, Shear Pleasure, Bladerunner, Perms of Endearment, Jack of All Fades. Are you going to say that two of those are not the same kind of joke as the others? Rhyming is a word for "sounding like" another word that we have a more specific usage for because of how verse works. Commented Jul 25, 2021 at 2:48
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    @GArthurBrown: When someone says duck you or you're a massive hunt, that's not punning. Commented Jul 25, 2021 at 3:39

2 Answers 2

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It is an extension of the classic pun

MW.com

: the usually humorous use of a word in such a way as to suggest two or more of its meanings or the meaning of another word similar in sound

The most common form of puns uses multiple meanings of the same word. The second most common substitutes a homophone. And the least common uses a word which sounds similar and can include rhymes.

Examples of the third type

Your Dictionary

What do sea monsters eat? Fish and ships!

The librarian got crushed under an avalanche of books… But he only has his shelf to blame.

Why did the clown hold the door open for everyone? He made a nice jester.

Parade

Ladies, if he can’t appreciate your fruit jokes, you need to let that mango.

Some aquatic mammals at the zoo escaped. It was otter chaos!

What do you get when you mix alcohol and literature? Tequila mockingbird.

I don't think there is a particular name for puns on profanity, but you can easily describe them as dirty or naughty puns.

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I suspect that, in overall context, this is a form of bathos in which the listener expects the present tone to continue in the anticipated form, only to be deceived by the mundane.

The classic example of bathos is Alexander Pope's "Rape of the Lock":

Here thou, great Anna! whom three realms obey,

Dost sometimes counsel take—and sometimes tea.

In which the dignified and formal image of Queen Anne presiding at court is destroyed by her having a cup of tea.

But it works in comedy as well:

Example #4: "I’m Sorry I’ll Read That Again" (BBC Radio Comedy)

The British radio series also provides us with many bathos examples. John Cleese and Jo Kendall appeared in the roles of a couple whose relationship is on the brink of failure.

MARY: “John – once we had something that was pure, and wonderful, and good. What’s happened to it?”

JOHN: “You spent it all.”

When Mary says “something pure and wonderful,” she is actually referring to the deep, sacred, noble form of love. However, the description is vague enough for John to manipulate.

For a tour-de-force of this form, close to your example, I suggest listening to or reading the lyrics of "The Assumption Song" by the Arrogant Worms.

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  • The anticipated rhyme is a garden path staged for laughs. There once was a lovely young miss / Who went down to the river to read. / A young man in a punt, / Stuck an oar in her eye. / And now she must wear glasses (must paddle to piss.) Commented Jul 25, 2021 at 1:48
  • +1 for Pope. DVs undeserved IMHO. Commented Jul 25, 2021 at 8:38

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