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Here We Go a Punning

Updated on May 25, 2021
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Lori loves a good punchline. She loves to spread humor to make people laugh and not take life too seriously.

Defining "Pun"

As a writer I love words. I love to expand my vocabulary, and if I was down to my last five bucks and had a choice of buying a used paperback novel or a thesaurus, I'd choose the thesaurus. I have a great interest in and have written a lot on idioms and their origins, which is quite fascinating. So when I discovered punning, I caught the fever and sometimes I get carried away. Puns are fun because they're a play on words.

"No pun intended," is an oft used parenthetical insert when we've said something that included a pun. It's easy now and again to make an unintended pun. Why just the other day I was writing on the topic of hell and began with the line "Hell is a hot topic." When I realized I'd just made a pun, I added the "no pun intended." It was a serious discussion and I hadn't meant to be cute, but it happened and it was funny. Before we go any further, we need some definitions:

Pun - is a riddle or joke exploiting the different possible meanings of a word or the fact that there are words that sound alike but have different meanings.

Punning - making puns

Punster - one who loves to make puns and is particularly gifted at it.

Punnery - The practice or art of punning.

Making puns is a fun and exciting pastime. It's a fun-tastic way to communicate with people who confuse the heck out of you already.

Double Entendres

This is a phrase or sentence that can have a double meaning or be understood in two ways. Usually, double entendres are sexual innuendos, which I do not use in my life, so I am not giving those kinds of examples. Shakespeare used double entendre a lot in his writings. That being said, it does not have to have a sexual connotation.

The most well known non-sexual double entendre comes from the movie Silence of the Lamb, where the main character, Hannibal Lecter, says: I do wish we could chat longer, but...I'm having an old friend for dinner. This is an example of a double meaning. Hannibal, of course, is the cannibal serial killer. So the double meaning is Hannibal could be having a friend over to dine with, or he could have the friend over to be the dinner.

Here are a few less glorious ones: The violinist sat next to the pianist in class, who was writing. "What are you doing?" asked violinist. The pianist replied, "I'm making notes."

I do wish we could chat longer, but...I'm having an old friend for dinner."

— Hannibal Lecter, Silence of the Lamb

Homographic Puns

Homographic means two or more words spelled the same but not necessarily the same meaning or pronunciation.

Examples:

The salmon played the scales on his trumpet.

The race car driver made a pass at the waitress.

The optometrist made a spectacle of himself.

The buck said to the doe, "I'm game if you are."

Rose dropped her child off at the nursery.

The premarital counselor told the pilot, "Don't marry your flight attendant, she's carrying too much baggage."

The watchmaker told his customer, "I didn't have time to finish the repair. I hope you aren't too ticked off."

Homophonic Puns

These puns involve words that sound similar but with different spellings and meanings.

Examples:

The DNA scientist wore genes to work today.

The author had the write of way.

The fish hit the ball and made it to first bass.

The jeweler got hungry and ate a carat.

Visual Puns

Puns can be made visually as well. The example below is a man whose job is to use an apparatus that depresses soda cans. The caption plays on the image and words that describe the image - "This is my job, it's sodapressing."

Visual puns

Having Pun With Random Puns

  • Mars told Jupiter, "I want to throw you a party, but I don't have time to planet."
  • I'd rather stay in a hotel. Camping is too intents.
  • Granny Smith told Macintosh, "You're the apple of my eye."
  • On an outing, the princess went on a fairy ride.
  • The shopper had to see a psychiatrist for being a basket case.
  • The dog was arrested for barking up the wrong tree.
  • The cabernet promised the champagne she'd quit wining.
  • The minister saw his wife and pastor the Bible.
  • The hornet told the wasp not to bee so stingy.
  • The best way to communicate with a fish is to drop them a line.
  • The flock of doves decided to stage a coo.
  • When chemists die they barium.
  • Jokes about German sausage are the wurst.
  • I'm reading about anti-gravity but I can't put it down.

My friend Joe - King of Punners

I have a friend who loves to pun on facebook. He'll make a statement and follow it with # pun alert, then write the pun relating to his post. He's really good at it, although every now and then it goes sour and he makes a lemon (pun intended). Here are just a few:

  • I've been mugged! Called the cups and they placed the coffee under a wrist.
  • If I tackle the YMCA's vending machine will I get my quarter back?
  • A priest asks team setting up candlelight service if they've Litany?
  • Hard to clean up after editing a video because it leaves a film on everything.
  • Having fish today, or did salmon else already mention that? Hope I don't get arrested for being a poacher!
  • I am toying with the idea of helping Santa load his sleigh.
  • My chest infection got much worse last nite so I am stocking up on soups...Rather than stewing over my symptoms, I headed for the souper market. I'm not letting this deep cough get the bisque of me.
  • I should be dancing since this is a Saturday Night Fever! Finding out you have a sore throat is hard to swallow!
  • I cannot find a couple of dog biscuits... Should I call the Lost In Hound Department?
  • If you jog holding a thermometer, is that called running a temperature?
  • Are we winter hikers called cold callers? I guess that makes the weather bureau a temp agency!
  • Never realized before how much money coffee beans enjoy spending - surely you've seen a coffee shop.

Some of the lemons

  • Most holiday recipes call for at least a cup of flower. And long days of baking require stamen-a. But like a banker, I better leaf well enough a loan.
  • Posting a photo of Mount Rainier he punned- I have a lava these photos. Sorry for the brief eruption in your busy day, but I just had to bare my sulfur you!
  • Hopefully, some cool produce will turnip. Always speak politely to a butcher.. they have deli cut dispositions. Never pray with grocers, because they are sack religious. And as for florists, I can be myself because they love a blooming idiot!
  • While working out at the YMCA, at first I thought a grasshopper had landed on my knee, but now I think it was at the gym a knee cricket. #punochio!

© 2014 Lori Colbo

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