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Questions tagged [puns]

Pun is a play on words or paronomasia.

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Specific term for a "Synonym Phrase"?

Is there a specific term for a pair of phrases where each word technically has the same or similar meaning, but when taken together, has a completely different meaning or implication? I used Synonym ...
Chromane's user avatar
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1 answer
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What's the English Technique called when you change a word's word class? [duplicate]

For example: My table is accepting deals, so it's an acceptable. My table is counting, so it's an accountable. I understand these aren't very rewarding wordplay sentences but I want to know the ...
troy's user avatar
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10 votes
2 answers
2k views

Meaning of "our eares are converted into cates"

In Archie Armstrong's Banquet of Jests (1641 edition), there's an account of a punning clergyman: A DIVINE willing to play more with words than to be serious in the expounding of his Text, made his ...
Luke Sawczak's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
128 views

Is there a word for naming something/someone with a common descriptor?

Is there a word for naming something/someone with its common descriptor—for example, calling a baby, Baby, a cat, Cat, a teddy-bear, Teddy? It's not an eponym or an aptronym, though there are elements ...
NMMad's user avatar
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1 vote
0 answers
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Does wordplay boiled soy/soiled boy have a name? [duplicate]

In Polish, there is a relatively established literary pastime of finding two pairs of words having forms a1a2 b1b2 and b1a2 a1b2, where both pairs are realistic phrases (i.e., they have a sensible ...
Turin's user avatar
  • 113
1 vote
0 answers
34 views

Another name for Plants [closed]

Can I write 'blood-lacking living beings' instead of just plainly writing 'plants'? P.S: I have this assignment where creative names are appreciated!
carlie's user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer
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“Why does a Moon-rock taste better than an Earth-rock?” joke meaning [closed]

In the last episode of “The Last of Us” TV show there is the following pun: Why does a Moon-rock taste better than an Earth-rock? Because it's a little meteor. What's the wordplay here? P.S. I've ...
Shtole's user avatar
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0 votes
2 answers
109 views

What's the pun in this "Will a chick eat a banana" story?

As reported by The Observer, this 2013 Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest winner in the field of Vile Puns: “The veterinarian had suggested the tasty yellow fruit as a way to cure the undiagnosed lack of ...
Malady's user avatar
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10 votes
4 answers
8k views

What did Lady Gaga mean when she sang that she's heard a "sine" from above?

In Lady Gaga's song featuring Elton John "Sine From Above", she sang that she has heard a "sine" from the sky. Sine is defined as the very famous mathematical function in Cambridge ...
JKHA's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
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Term for resonance between Author and Title

Often books will have title that is a pun on the author's name or in anonymous works a euonymous nom-de-plume. Sometimes in scholarly works the title unironically reflects an author's aptronymic ...
Palantir's user avatar
-4 votes
1 answer
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What's the measing of "lousy pun" in this context?

I'm reading a Python (Computer programming language) doc: PEP 3155 – Qualified name for classes and functions. In the Rationale section, it says Python’s introspection facilities have long had poor ...
password636's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
71 views

How to make it clear that there is no pun when using "irrational fear" in the subject of mathematics [closed]

Suppose I am writing to an audience of mathematics teachers, and I want very much to tell them that "I initially had an irrational fear of" a certain subject in mathematics. But in that ...
Daniel Asimov's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
106 views

What is it called to replace a word(s) in a well known idiom/quotes and turn it into a true statement for humor?

Today I was watching a live streamer on Twitch (a veteran gamer in 'Day Z', an open world, zombie survival/shooter video game) and there was a scenario in the game where he came across 2 other players ...
rickrock's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
44 views

Play on words , help needed [closed]

Consider: The loco-motive threw me to the ground. I am trying to highlight the word loco in locomotive because it was out of control and crazy. Meaning @ Merriam-Webster : loco [ slang ] : ...
bob's user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer
1k views

What does "beyond a fact" mean?

What does this mean: Neighbour on the bus or a dear old queen With the possibility the world is packed But the keeper of the secret is not close to max (maybe the name Max) And that's beyond a fact. ...
Saw's user avatar
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13 votes
2 answers
4k views

What is the meaning of Terry Pratchett's idiom/pun "coming and going"?

I have encountered a pun in a novel by Terry Pratchett that I cannot wrap my head around. I'm not a native English speaker, and any assistance with this would be highly appreciated. The pun seems to ...
Dirk101's user avatar
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-3 votes
1 answer
3k views

What-all does "pun" mean, really? [closed]

To my knowledge, a pun is a specific kind of wordplay hinged on a homophone/double-entendre (e.g., "What's black and white and re(a)d all over? A newspaper") or on multiple meanings of a ...
Isocat's user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer
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Terry/Gina "testes" double entendree

On a series (Brooklyn 99 S2E2 beginning), one character announces their decision to get a vasectomy, and lets the others have fun at him. One such response is "No need to be so testes". I ...
George Menoutis's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
1k views

Could "jibe with" imply something racist?

In the latest episode of Succession, they are talking about potential candidates and we know there is a guy called Salgado (I don't remember a prior implication that Salgado is racist but he is not ...
successionfang's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
121 views

What is the meaning of this pun: "planphlet"? [closed]

In a recent video (exactly here) there was a term used, "planphlet": ... a plan printed on a pamphlet. PLANPHLET! which I believe is a pun, but I can't decipher what it relates to. From ...
Rafał Kłys's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
103 views

Is the movie title "love and other drugs" a play on some phrase?

Does anyone know if the movie title "love and other drugs" is a play on some other phrase of the form X and other Y?
Rufus Xavier's user avatar
15 votes
5 answers
9k views

What is it called when two words are combined by overlapping each other?

Say I have the word "hotel" and "telephone." I then combine them together to make "hotelephone." Note that there is no truncation in this example. It is not a portmanteau....
Electro-blob's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
651 views

Can 'An ass that won't quit' connote stubbornness?

I've tracked down a potential folk etymology of "butt that won't quit" from the phrase 'legs that won't quit', but I can't attest that in a dictionary anywhere. My question comes from my ...
AncientSwordRage's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
423 views

Is "Biggles Flies Undone" a pun?

At the end of the Monty Python sketch "Biggles Dictates a Letter", there's a voiceover (sounds like John Cleese to me) saying: "Next week, part 2: Biggles Flies Undone" https://...
steveha's user avatar
  • 291
-1 votes
1 answer
328 views

Pun of the word “fall”

Is this sentence sound native to English speakers? Fall falls on falls. Which I intended to say "Autumn comes to the waterfalls." If this does not sound native, how would you use the word &...
Kanayuki Tachibana's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
70 views

A "pun" that I can't understand, at all

In the book The Quantum Universe: Everything That Can Happen Does Happen by Brian Cox and Jeff Forshaw, on page 104 there seems to be a pun of authors: Generally speaking, frequency is the ...
havz's user avatar
  • 111
0 votes
3 answers
107 views

How to translate "Facéties de Descendre" from French in the context of a board game? [closed]

I'd like to translate a card from a French board game. In particular, I'm interested about one of the names of the abilities. Now, I'm not a native English speaker, but I'm pretty sure that the ...
Czyzby's user avatar
  • 101
3 votes
3 answers
3k views

Opposite opinion vs Opposing opinion

Suppose I think that puppies are cute (which I do) and someone thinks otherwise (how dare they?), i. e. puppies are not cute. Is the latter the opposing opinion or the opposite opinion? If both ...
alekscooper's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
110 views

What is the 'evident pun' in Moonchild?

Recently, a friend sent me this passage from Aleister Crowley's 1917 novel Moonchild: “Dinner was served; the Poltergeist supplied the conversation. Never before had he been so light, so genial, so ...
Drubbels's user avatar
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3 votes
1 answer
1k views

Meaning of the joke about the fish and the dam [closed]

There is the joke. -What did the fish say when he ran into the wall? -Dam. Could someone explain it to me, please? As far as I can tell the joke is all about the intended pun: the dam sounds similar ...
manymanymore's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
542 views

Is 'avocardio' a pun?

My coworker has a shirt where it's a picture of an avocado riding a bicycle. The joke? Avocardio! My coworker says the joke is a pun. It's definitely a play on words, but I always thought a pun had ...
johncorser's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
2k views

What is the meaning of "objectively better" in this sentence

I read a sentence in Word by Word by Kory Stamper which was: If you ask a modern adherent to this rule why, exactly, you aren't supposed to end a sentence with a preposition, they merely goggle at ...
kelvin's user avatar
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3 votes
6 answers
5k views

Term for a joke with a missing punchline

What do you call a joke that has a punchline which as been emphatically implied through omission, as in... [Comedian peeling banana, saying...] "one skin, two skin, three skin, (pregnant pause)....
Cascabel_StandWithUkraine_'s user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
2k views

Is there an existent terminology for ironically replacing a word in a phrase with something related that does not sound similar to the original word?

This is mirrored to the question: "Jokes where you replace a word with something unrelated but similar sounding" (Jokes where you replace a word with something unrelated but similar sounding). ...
Jason Skipper's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
85 views

Can the word "backhanded" be easily misunderstood by a young kid?

In a recent question at Spanish Language it has been asked about the translation of "backhanded" into Spanish as "treacherous". I answered that that is an adaptation more than a translation because of ...
Charlie's user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer
95 views

What is the term for finding words within words for comedic effect?

I am trying to find a word that describes finding a word within another word for comedic effect i.e. functioning as a pun or word play. The example that sparked this question was when I came across a ...
Cesco's user avatar
  • 80
3 votes
3 answers
531 views

Spoonerisms in the English language

As a native French speaker, I am a big enthusiast of spoonerisms. I used to write a few texts full of them, mainly for my own pleasure! But I have to be honest...the underlying meaning was bawdy most ...
Marvin's user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer
212 views

Is a sentence with two literal meanings a metaphor?

Yesterday, the Twitter user @TomLarkinSky tweeted: Metaphor alert: there’s currently no power in the room at No 10 where the PM is going to make her speech. Might delay things a bit. Is this a ...
WhyWhat's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
3k views

What do you call a pun that isn't a pun?

I've just learned of the event within the (UK) Labour Party known as the 'Chicken Coup' and it made me wonder: is it still a pun if it's a play on writing, and not the spoken word? According to the ...
WhoWantsToKnow's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
156 views

sarcastic responses as used in comedy or joking around [closed]

when a supervisor gives unsolicited advice on how to do something as a reminder and you have been doing this job just that way for the last twenty years and you want to say ...really for real you are ...
Paula J Lynch's user avatar
3 votes
3 answers
898 views

What's the meaning of "They’ll be all the sense you got"?

On page 13 of Educated by Tara Westover, it says When Dad read the verse to his mother, she laughed in his face. “I got some pennies in my purse,” she said. “You better take them. They’ll be all ...
user294327's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
139 views

Explain this Pun "A Slice of New York"

How would you describe "A Slice of New York" as a pun?
Emma Rose Schwichtenberg's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
631 views

Is “on porpoise” a pun?

Is the phrase “Did you do that on porpoise?” a pun? It doesn’t exploit multiple meanings of the same word but instead uses a different word that sounds similar
Dave's user avatar
  • 263
5 votes
2 answers
558 views

Is there a hidden meaning to the name "Coraline Cake" from the suffragette cook book?

According to NPR, the suffragette movement included politically subversive recipe books. Chicago obstetrician and gynecologist Alice Bunker Stockham, the fifth woman to become a licensed doctor in ...
spraff's user avatar
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2 votes
0 answers
287 views

A Pun or Not a Pun [closed]

If you say, "hello dear" to a person dressed as a deer is it a pun? I think it is a pun, but my friend argues that it is not.
Kayla Hayes's user avatar
28 votes
2 answers
2k views

Can the unexpected validity of the literal meaning of a phrase on top of the usual figurative sense be considered a pun?

This is from the transcript of an episode titled Leela and the Genestalk (WARNING: very badly formatted wiki page) of the popular cartoon series Futurama. (Background: a character named Mom has ...
pomsky's user avatar
  • 461
4 votes
1 answer
715 views

Ovine Wordplay: On the 'lam' vs. On the 'lamb'

Pardon me for feeling a bit sheepish; this is my first time posting a question here. I am known - and revered, as far as I can tell - as something of a pun wizard at my workplace. Today, on our ...
Vanguard3000's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
2k views

What is the meaning of the phrasal verb 'move about'?

In the Xenophobe's guide to the English, page 54, under the heading Sense of Humour, the authors, Antony Miall and David Milsted, state that: English humour is as much about recognition as it is ...
user58319's user avatar
  • 4,112
3 votes
2 answers
2k views

Is there a word for the use of words which, phonetically, create another word?

In the board game "Scotland Yard" one player attempts to thwart capture by the others through misleading them as to his true whereabouts. In the rules, this player is referred to as "Mr. X". Saying ...
Bob Tway's user avatar
  • 570
3 votes
1 answer
1k views

Term For A Portmanteau of Phrases [duplicate]

Does "portmanteau" only refer to single words like spork or turducken? If so what would be the term for multiple phrases combined together on a common word or words? For example: If I wanted to ...
DorkRawk's user avatar
  • 139