Pun (Paronomasia!) RFP: your contributions?

Pun: n. a form of word play that deliberately exploits ambiguity between similar-sounding words for humorous or rhetorical effect. Also known (by an erudite few) as paronomasia. By definition, puns must be deliberate; an involuntary substitution of similar words is called a malapropism, after the verbally challenged Mrs. Malaprop in Sheridan’s 1798 comedy “The Rivals”.

Paronomasia: n. a play on words. (From Greek,  para beside + onoma name  – to call with a slight change of name).

The pun is often disparagingly referred to as “the lowest form of wit” – which my dad loved twisting into “a bun is the lowest form of wheat.”

Knock-knock jokes are almost always based on puns:


Who’s there?


Alaska who?

Alaska no questions, you tell me no lies.

The customary response to a pun is a groan, hence they’re often called “groaners.”

So here’s my groaner. Last week I had waited days for FedEx to bring me a 1 gig memory chip so my laptop would have enough oomph to do a presentation. When it finally arrived, hours before my deadline, I called my daughter triumphantly, “My chip has come in!”

I know you can do better..

10 responses to “Pun (Paronomasia!) RFP: your contributions?

  1. My grandpa loved words, poems, and puns.
    When I was very little, he ‘gave’ me this poem:
    Once I had a wooden whistle, but it wooden whistle.
    So I got me a steel whistle, but steel I couldn’t whistle.
    Now I have me a tin whistle, now I tin whistle.
    There’s a ghost story to go along with this poem, if you’re interested.

  2. I remember telling someone who was bragging about an early season tan, that it was just a ‘pigment of their imagination’. They didn’t get it.

  3. Terrific start, Susan. At one of the links WordPress suggested below was this one for graphic designers:

    Two fonts walk into a bar. The bartender says, “Get out, we don’t serve your type in here.”

  4. “When I saw my first strand of grey hair, I thought I’d dye.”

    But my favourite is “A hangover is the wrath of grapes.”

  5. HAHAHA! Keep them coming!

  6. “A chicken crossing the road is poultry in motion.”

    “I have a photographic memory which I’ve never developed.”

  7. A good pun is its own reword.

    Sign at a pig farm: “No porking in driveway. ”

    Some weather-related puns:
    Calm — A nil wind.
    Cyclone — The exact duplicate of cy.
    Winter — The days of shovelry.

  8. Pingback: Pokeman, Pickachu and Pupitar « 365 Words Beginning with P

  9. “A mime is a horrible thing to waste”

  10. There is another line to the whistle poem.
    I bought a wooden whistle ,but, it wooden whistle.
    I bought a steel whistle, but, it steel wooden whistle.
    I bought a lead whistle, but, steel they wooden lead me whistle, so
    I bought a tin whistle and now I tin whistle