Riddles and Puns

These apples are a pear!
These apples are a pear!

From Shakespeare's punny intro to Julius Caesar

MARULLUS. But what trade art thou? Answer me directly.

SECOND COMMONER. A trade, sir, that, I hope, I may use with a safe conscience, which is indeed, sir, a mender of bad soles.

MARULLUS. What trade, thou knave? Thou naughty knave, what trade?

SECOND COMMONER. Nay, I beseech you, sir, be not out with me; yet,if you be out, sir, I can mend you.

MARULLUS. What mean'st thou by that? Mend me, thou saucy fellow!

SECOND COMMONER. Why, sir, cobble you.

FLAVIUS. Thou art a cobbler, art thou?

SECOND COMMONER. Truly, Sir, all that I live by is with the awl; I meddle with no tradesman's matters, nor women's matters, but with awl.

I am indeed, sir, a surgeon to old shoes; when they are in great danger, I recover them. As proper men as ever trod upon neat's leather have gone upon my handiwork.

I should be pun-ished!

My punctuation is horrible; I was always late to school. My grammar was not very good,either, she liked my sister more. But I loved reading the 'Figures of Speech' chapter in my grammar book when I was twelve. And the best 36-26-36 of speech that I enjoyed was the pun! That chapter had old gems like "Life depends on the liver," and "an ambassador lies abroad for the sake of his country."

Then, when I was fourteen, we had Julius Caesar and found, to our delight, that Great Shakes himself had profusely used the pun. Profused them!

See if you can make sense or nonsense from these puns from Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet:

1. Ask for me tomorrow, and you shall find me a grave man. (That's a wounded chap speaking.)

2. In bed asleep, while they do dream things true. Dreamers lie, and lie. (That's Romeo himself.)

When English Miss told us about how there was a doubt about the ID of the old bard of Avon, we suggested that he might be really a trembling guard with a shaky javelin! She was serious, and looked down upun us. But the good lady did not pun-ish us puny pupils. She wore dark glasses because her pupils were usually bright!

That year, my interest in puns made me a short term star, more like a shooting one, yes. English Miss was incharge of the Grand Annual School Quiz, and yes, we called it the Gas-Q or even gasket. She was a creative lady and decided to not just ask us general knowledge questions, but also colonel ones. Sorry, I got carried away by my punning. One of these days, my wife says I'll be carried away in a strait jacket.

Back to the Gas-Q. She included riddles in the quiz, and lo and behold, due to my new found interest in double entendre, I scored double than what I would have scored with GK questions!

She asked, "What dog tells time?" and I answered, "A watch dog, Miss."; to "Why did the garden fence?" I replied, "Because it saw the window box," and I had a great time becoming, for a short period, star of my house. I failed to answer many GK ones, and passed them, hee, hee! But still I won, because of the puns. These punny riddles are called conundrums, for your general knowledge.

Then we had those knock-knock jokes:

Knock Knock!

Who's there?

Arthur...

Arthur who?

Arthur any more biscuits?

And my favourite joke on the joke:

Knock Knock!

Who's there?

Doctor...

Doctor Who?

That's right!

There was a Shakespearian Entymologist who peered through his magnifying glass and said, "Ah. Antennae and Coleoptera!"

I became a die hard punologist and collected puns of all shapes and sizes. I became a fan of Groucho Marx, who said things like "Jack the Ripper, who cut quite a figure in his day," in an official letter to Warner Bros!

I sometimes zoom back and look at the other figures of speech, but that's another hub, another day. I am a punster for this hub, but could be an oxymoron for you, gentle reader. Later. I hub a cobe in my nobe now.

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Comments 58 comments

MrMarmalade profile image

MrMarmalade 8 years ago from Sydney

You are simply great and humerous at the same time


Kenny Wordsmith profile image

Kenny Wordsmith 8 years ago from Chennai Author

And you are a kind man, Frank, with your generous compliments, thank you very much.


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 8 years ago from Ontario/Canada

Funny one Kenny! I just love puns.

Great HUB

regards Zsuzsy


Kenny Wordsmith profile image

Kenny Wordsmith 8 years ago from Chennai Author

I can see that from the 'z's in your name, and your bubs, Zsuzsy! Like the polite vampire said, fang you very much!


compu-smart profile image

compu-smart 8 years ago from London UK

Great Hub Kenny. I love the play on words and the saying " The pen is mightier than the sword....."Anagram of sword! (Words) ;)


Kenny Wordsmith profile image

Kenny Wordsmith 8 years ago from Chennai Author

Ah, anagrams, I can do a hub on that, too! Thanks, Compu-smart for that! But till then, the pun is mightier than the sword!


MM Del Rosario profile image

MM Del Rosario 8 years ago from NSW, Australia

Kenny, your a clever man. I enjoy reading this hub.


Kenny Wordsmith profile image

Kenny Wordsmith 8 years ago from Chennai Author

MM, welcome! And thank you for the compliment!


Lowrychris profile image

Lowrychris 8 years ago

I liked this a lot, Kenny. You always get me in trouble with my wife, because she wants to know why I'm laughing at the computer- out loud! Love puns!


Isabella Snow profile image

Isabella Snow 8 years ago

The Brits are brilliant at dry puns.. Americans seem to only be good at the lewd ones.. ;) I love 'em all, though, great hub!


Kenny Wordsmith profile image

Kenny Wordsmith 8 years ago from Chennai Author

Then I have had my revenge, Lowrychris! I roar with laughter reading your hubs. Especially when you answer some poor hubber's serious request!

Thank you, Isabella; I love them all, too!


gamergirl profile image

gamergirl 8 years ago from Antioch, TN

Oh my goodness Kenny, I never knew you were so punny. lol!


Kenny Wordsmith profile image

Kenny Wordsmith 8 years ago from Chennai Author

Oh Charlotte, thank you for calling me names! :)


compu-smart profile image

compu-smart 8 years ago from London UK

Im always happy to inspire;) and i await your gramana Hub!! im sure it will be in gamegirls words very Punny!;)


Kenny Wordsmith profile image

Kenny Wordsmith 8 years ago from Chennai Author

Compu-smart, I'll surely do gramanas! That is, if you don't mind being called Star Mum CPU or T Mac ROM UPS! And I'll be Wynn Riskmethod! :)


Peter M. Lopez profile image

Peter M. Lopez 8 years ago from Sweetwater, TX

Be careful. If the pun is a jealous lover, or has put on a few pounds, you may get in trouble looking at other figures of speech.


Kenny Wordsmith profile image

Kenny Wordsmith 8 years ago from Chennai Author

Peter, that's a perfect comment for a hub on puns! Lol! You're right, I must be careful looking at other figures of speech!


G-Ma Johnson profile image

G-Ma Johnson 8 years ago from NW in the land of the Free

Here's a couple I remember "make like a tree and leave" "make like a cloud and drift" oh I lost my train of thought....G-Ma :O)


Kenny Wordsmith profile image

Kenny Wordsmith 8 years ago from Chennai Author

Hehe, thanks for the bonus puns, G-Ma!


Cleanclover profile image

Cleanclover 8 years ago from Piece of land!

thanx for the funny puns. They were great!


Kenny Wordsmith profile image

Kenny Wordsmith 8 years ago from Chennai Author

Thank you for not just tolerating them, but actually enjoying them, CleanClover!


courtsantos profile image

courtsantos 8 years ago from Seatlle, WA

This page is interestibg


Kenny Wordsmith profile image

Kenny Wordsmith 8 years ago from Chennai Author

Thank you for rejuvenating this punny hub, courtsantos!


cherangelry 8 years ago

Oh, I love pun-y people! Thanks for making my day!


Kenny Wordsmith profile image

Kenny Wordsmith 8 years ago from Chennai Author

Thank you for becoming my fan, Cherangelry! :)


ripplemaker profile image

ripplemaker 8 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

"practice makes prefect" hehehhehe LOL


Kenny Wordsmith profile image

Kenny Wordsmith 8 years ago from Chennai Author

But I'll never be prefect, lol!


victoryv profile image

victoryv 8 years ago from india

great puns, funny to read.Interesting article.


Iðunn 7 years ago

dunno how I missed this one. what a hoot!


Kenny Wordsmith profile image

Kenny Wordsmith 7 years ago from Chennai Author

Happy that you happunned on this at least now. :)


Iðunn 7 years ago

nicely put. my train of thought is not on as fast a track as it used to be or I'd join you with some small town homesPun interplay with you. Doubtlessly you'd wreck me in that department at the moment.

I've been quite social today for some odd reason but there is no one on here I prefer socializing with over you. :) I hadn't realized that you too had been on sabbatical. I just closed up shop and took time to pursue other interests for a while, but if by any chance I aided in your return as well, yay for me. :D

You offer such a great deal of class and humor to the area. I remain, as always, a perpetual fan.


Kenny Wordsmith profile image

Kenny Wordsmith 7 years ago from Chennai Author

I have no wish to wreck you in any departmentl I am only basking in your compliments. Balloon time! X)

Yay for you, but clarifying that punning is not class. Bun is the lowest form of wheat and the pun is the lowest form of wit. And people who take time off from their poetry and activism to laugh and comment are kinder and classier. :)


Iðunn 7 years ago

feel free to bask... no one deserves it more than you. besides, I get the side benefits of that helium filled head... the lovely view from up there.


Kenny Wordsmith profile image

Kenny Wordsmith 7 years ago from Chennai Author

Aw, I float higher! Oh, look, Iðunn, a double rainbow!


Iðunn 7 years ago

:heart: there is indeed beauty in the world. you know I often forget that on my activism phases. you always remind me.


Kenny Wordsmith profile image

Kenny Wordsmith 7 years ago from Chennai Author

And I must learn to be socially responsible from you. :) Revenge!


Iðunn 7 years ago

ha, you always try to win.  I shall let you this time because it's the delightfully female thing to do and because I like to consider myself, at least on occasion, a delightful female.  I love my men competitive.  :D

do NOT go all serious on me, one of us is more than enough :p  I feel I have 'boring the masses silly' pretty much all stocked up with my own work.  :D


Kenny Wordsmith profile image

Kenny Wordsmith 7 years ago from Chennai Author

You are delightful, but, sigh, you won't love me. I am not competitive. I'm an activist who attacks competition. I hate winning when people lose. Actually, now that you got me thinking, I hate winning and losing.

Okay won't get too serious, though the string gives the balloon character. :)


Iðunn 7 years ago

how could I not adore you? I strongly suspect your wife is the luckiest woman alive. if they get around to cloning people, make sure they send one of you to me. I need a model with an expandable head for better floating. :D


Kenny Wordsmith profile image

Kenny Wordsmith 7 years ago from Chennai Author

Awwwwwwwwwwww. :))

I tell her she is lucky, but she doesn't agree, LOL. Keeps me quite humble, you know.

When they clone me, I must be sure they use only the good components; there are those I'm ashamed of. :(


Iðunn 7 years ago

I doubt there is anything about you that resembles a failing. I want the whole shebang or no deal. I like thinking of your wife as feisty. Good for her! I'm glad you have a wonderful successful marriage. As for me, I'm going to have to stop falling for the wrong type or I never shall. I'm rather getting used to being on my own, by now. I believe I've gone quite eccentric.


Kenny Wordsmith profile image

Kenny Wordsmith 7 years ago from Chennai Author

Well, it appears to be a failure in details, but it is in fact a successful one. :)

Eccentricity: Give me the wierdos; they are more fun and sometimes I suspect that, since the world has its values upside down, we crazy people are the sanest. I'm a recluse at heart, too. :)


Iðunn 7 years ago

all of the best of us are. I've had some run ins with what I now know is demons and let me tell you, an eccentric is one heck of a step up. I'm not convinced you're that eccentric at all, other than that you are fond of me and tolerate my horrible love for abstracts and unskilled impressionists. :p


Kenny Wordsmith profile image

Kenny Wordsmith 7 years ago from Chennai Author

Hey don't call your favourite artists unskilled! At least they have the skill to make you fall in love with their work. :)

You insult me Madam, I AM eccentric! I am as weird as a weird wolf! Being fond of you has nothing to do with my wierdness. LOL


Iðunn 7 years ago

I'll defer and allow you to be eccentric with me, but only because you are too adorable to resist. How I have missed you~ I actually didn't realize how much until I came back. Good friends are hard to find it seems and everything is defined wrongly anymore, I think. If people start with a wrongly defined base, how can they hope to come up with the right actions?

Your light is a needed one in this world. There is a darkness all around sometimes it seems, but meet one person with light and it dispels so much of the darkness. You amaze and delight me. I enjoy sharing the light with you and with the other light souls I meet along the journey.

Ah, it's so late here and I seem to have gone sentimental, but it is so. You and others like you are sorely needed in the world. For that, you may be as weird as you wanna be. hehe


Kenny Wordsmith profile image

Kenny Wordsmith 7 years ago from Chennai Author

It's only afternoon here, but I'm afraid I will go sentimental too. And speechless I am already. I am like Elmer Fudd, you know, you kiss him on the top of his bald head and he goes red or glows like a light bulb.

If I glow and spread light, it is all due to kind poets who e-kiss me. :)


Iðunn 7 years ago

:)  you light the dark recesses like a lantern in a basement.  I consider myself quite lucky to have run across you.  I shall enjoy turning you red over and over... you know how fond I am of that colour.


Kenny Wordsmith profile image

Kenny Wordsmith 7 years ago from Chennai Author

What are you doing spreading sweetness and light now? That's my portfolio, I thought. :D Poetic compliments too. And also please stop to consider that some shy recipients of your kindness may not declare that you do it, only go red and stand on one leg. And wish they were as articulate as you. :)


Iðunn 7 years ago

:) You do everything well it seems, especially compliment. I suspect that is more your portfolio than mine. Usually I just whinge about some socioeconomic injustice or another, but I needed to come up for air and the blue blue sky of floating with my friend.


Kenny Wordsmith profile image

Kenny Wordsmith 7 years ago from Chennai Author

But we need you people who sweat and shout for real rights, while we lotus eaters carry on with our pet indulgences. I will never pretend that I contribute more to society than a farmer. Or an activist.

So it's my honour to have fellow floaters like you who deserve more flying than they get.


Iðunn 7 years ago

It's been such a lovely exchange, I look forward to another in the near future. Despite my amazing insomniac capabilities, I suspect I'm going to sleep sometime soon. If I can't, I shall return. :P


Kenny Wordsmith profile image

Kenny Wordsmith 7 years ago from Chennai Author

Oh, you must sleep, Iðunn. We can continue another day.

Your eyes close, and you are relaxed. You float up, up and away into the blue. You grow lighter and lighter...everyday, in every way, you grow lighter and lighter...


Iðunn 7 years ago

If I were a superhero, somehow insomnia would be my secret weapon. I could stay up for years maybe, finding lost lambs to aid as my part of the SuperTeam.


Kenny Wordsmith profile image

Kenny Wordsmith 7 years ago from Chennai Author

But you are one, though not a caped crusader, and not because you won't sleep. You are super and our hero!


dhara 7 years ago

h! sa-la-mat.


Kenny Wordsmith profile image

Kenny Wordsmith 7 years ago from Chennai Author

Hi Dhara! Glad you like it! :)


hilarious text messages 6 years ago

very intresting lol


Kenny Wordsmith profile image

Kenny Wordsmith 6 years ago from Chennai Author

ty hilarious! :D

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