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"You know Fatty Schultz the butcher. What do you suppose he weighs?"

"I don't know, what does he weigh?"


TEACHER: Thomas, can you tell me which battle Nelson was killed in?

TOMMY (after a moment's reflection): I think it was his last.

COURTNEY: When you proposed to Miss Dexter, did you get down on your knees?

BARCLAY: No, I couldn't; she was sitting on them.

He used to send her roses;
He sent them every hour,
But now they're married and he sends
Her home a cauliflower.

At a West End hotel one of the party asked:

"Have you got any celery, waiter?"

"No, sir," was the significant answer; "I relies on me tips."

From some other sources

"How is a mouse like a haystack?" — "The cat'll (cattle) eat it." [Cattle and cat'll sound alike.]

"Why is an author freer than a monarch?" — "Because he can choose his own subjects."

"Why did Adam, when alone, find the day so long?" — "Because it was always mourning (morning) without Eve."

"I couldn't quite remember how to throw a boomerang, but eventually it came back to me." [Australian]

Police were called to a daycare where a three-year-old was resisting a rest.

Two peanuts were walking in a tough neighbourhood and one of them was a-salted.

The one who invented the door knocker got a No-bell prize.

The man who survived mustard gas and pepper spray is now a seasoned veteran.

Alcohol and calculus don't mix so don't drink and derive.

Pun - what it is

Pun is a form of wordplay. Two or more meanings may be into it, or words that sound similarly. Puns are a source of humour.

Puns were found in ancient Egypt: they were much used there, even to interpret dreams.

Pun, Literature  

Berrington, Benj. S., and John S. Berrington. 1905. English Riddles: With Explanations and Notes in Dutch. Purmerendm NL: J. Muusses. ⍽▢⍽ Many of the "riddles" in this Dutch book are pun - playing with "look-alike" sounds on words.

Brown, Thomas A., and T. J. Carey. 1906. The New Pun Book. New York: Carey-Stafford. ⍽▢⍽ The source of most of the pun above.

Culler, Jonathan, ed. 1988. On Puns: The Foundation of Letters. Oxford, UK: Basil Blackwell. ⍽▢⍽ This is a collection of essays by different writers, some of them witty and graceful, others less so - about puns and punning, its history and criticism. The language of some of the writers may not be according to the guidelines of Plain English. You'll have to take that in stride.
    Pun is an ancient form of wit, and well suited to children and upwards. Pun can be amusing and revealing, quite clever, or really witty. Witty pun is also part of the cultural heritage from antiquity, expressed in Latin and other, developing languages. There is a wide range to explore along with considering different views and ways of word play both in classical literature and in late medieval poetry and to puns interpreted in psychoanalysis, as well as the role of puns in concept formation. Jonathan Culler's work suggests that taking puns seriously might in time improve one's thinking, for hearty play (with words) is often a forerunner of future work (for example with ideas). Yes, some take pun seriously . . .

Koponen, Maarit. 2004. Wordplay in Donald Duck Comics and Their Finnish Translations. Helsinki: Pro gradu thesis Department of English, University of Helsinki, May 2004.


The three last puns are from "Funniest Puns and Jokes (Pun of the Day)" (passim). Accessed 8 Oct 2011. ⍽▢⍽ I like it.

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