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Figure of Speech

Pun Examples for Students and Children

“Diet slogan: Are you going the wrong weigh?” Do you identify the twist on the word, weigh, which was originally supposed to be spelt ‘way’? Well, words which sound the same but have different meanings are called puns. A better way to describe it would be ‘a play on words’. Although such terms render ambiguity to a sentence, it is often added for a humourous or rhetorical effect. Puns, or paronomasia, are used to understand speech better. The famous Roman playwright, Plautus, was known for the excessive use of puns in his work. William Shakespeare and Oscar Wilde are also ‘masters of the pun’. You might confuse puns with malapropism, but the latter is the misuse of similar sounding words (e.g. electoral and electrical) whereas the former uses correct expressions in order to allude to another correct and, sometimes, hilarious one. As Walter Red-fern rightly put, ‘to pun is to treat homonyms as synonyms’. Making use of this form of speech in your daily language can make it seem more interesting and fun. If you want to learn more about puns, then read below.

Examples of Puns 

Kinds of Puns

A pun can be of two types: Typographic and Visual. Typographic is further divided into five:

  • Homophonic -They use homophones (similar sounding word pairs) which are not synonymous. Example: Why is it so wet in England? Because many kings and queens have reigned there.
  • Homographic – These kinds of puns are where words are spelled the same (homographs) but have different meanings and sounds. Example: You can tune a guitar, but you can’t tuna fish. Unless of course you play bass.
  • Homonymic -These words are both homographs and homophones.Example: Bank (meaning embankment) and bank (where money is kept).
  • Compound -That contains two or more puns in the same sentence. Example: Where do you find giant snails? On the ends of giants’ fingers (obviously reading giant snails as giant’s nails).
  • Recursive -In this case, the second aspect of the pun relies on the understanding of the first Example: Infinity is not infinity.

Visual Puns – They are those which use non-phonetic writing.
Example: In ‘The Muppet Movie’, Kermit and Fozzie are driving. Then Kermit looks at the map and says they need to turn at the fork in the road. At this point, he lowers the map at which point and sees a giant fork in the middle of the road.

Other Examples:

One-Liners

  • A pyrotechnician should know how fireworks.
  • The math teacher was an exponent of his own powers.
  • I work as a baker because I knead the dough.
  • A dog gave birth to puppies near the road and was cited for littering.
  • Our social studies teacher says that her globe means the world to her.
  • The principle part of a horse is the mane, of course.
  • Do hotel managers get board with their jobs?
  • I met a man who loves eating couches. I think he has a suite tooth.
  • Dieting is a matter of life and breadth.
  • Without geometry, life is pointless.
  • Since her kind gift of a lemon cake, I rate her as one of Madeirafriends.
  • The best way to communicate with a fish is to drop them a line.
  • I wondered why the baseball kept getting bigger. Then it hit me.

Jokes

  • Did you hear about the Frenchman who jumped off the Eiffel Tower wearing a parachute and landed in the river? The police didn’t arrest him because he was clearly in Seine
  • The star asked the sun why the moon was always up so late. Sun responded that it was just a phase.
  • Two hats were hanging on a hat rack in the hallway. One hat said to the other, ‘You stay here; I’ll go on a-head’.
  • Three brothers bought a ranch in Texas and planned to raise cattle. They couldn’t think of a name for their ranch so they asked their mother, who said, “You should name it ‘Focus.'” The brothers were puzzled. “Why?” they asked. “Because,” said their mother, “‘Focus’ is where the sun’s rays meet.”
  • Do you know why it’s easy for a hunter to find a leopard? Because a leopard is always spotted.
  • A small boy swallowed some coins and was taken to a hospital. When his grandmother telephoned to ask how he was, a nurse said, ‘No change yet.’

In Literature

  • If you see kay Tell him he may See you in tea Tell him from me – James Joyce.
  • Mercutio: Nay, gentle Romeo, we must have you dance. Romeo: Not I, believe me. You have dancing shoes. With nimble soles; I have a soul of lead. So stakes me to the ground I cannot move – Romeo and Juliet, William Shakespeare.
  • When Thou hast done, Thou hast not done / For I have more. That at my death Thy Son / Shall shine as he shines now, and heretofore And having done that, Thou hast done; / I fear no more – A Hymn to God The Father.
  • Now is the winter of our discontent made glorious summer by this son of York – Richard III, William Shakespeare.

Funny Newspaper Headlines

  • New Study of Obesity Looks for Larger Test Group
  • Safety Experts Say School Bus Passengers Should Be Belted
  • Juvenile Court Tried Shooting Defendant
  • Farmer Bill Dies in House
  • Eye Drops Off Shelf
  • Hospitals are Sued by Seven Foot Doctors

The examples of puns above give you a general idea about their usage in literature and daily communication in today’s language. The first puns were used in ancient Egypt while interpreting dreams. Hope this article has been a ‘pun’ reading! Oops, fun!

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