We talked about puns before. A pun is a form of word play that exploits multiple meanings of a term, or of similar-sounding words, for an intended humorous or rhetorical effect. Check our previous article on puns HERE.
Today, we are going to discuss several different types of puns. Let’s get into it!
- Homophonic pun
A homophonic pun is a pun that uses words that sound alike, but they have different spellings and meanings.
“I should have known that I could not finish my dinner. That was a huge mis-steak.”
The speaker did not realise the steak would come in a huge portion; so the speaker thought that they made a mistake in ordering it. Mis-steak sounds similar to mistake.
- Homographic pun (also called heteronymic pun)
A homographic pun uses words that are spelled the same but have different meanings.
“Time flies like an arrow, while fruit flies like a banana.”
The first part of the sentence refers to how fast time passes, by saying that it ‘flies.’ The second part of the sentence also uses ‘flies,’ but here the word refers to the insect fruit flies, that like a banana.
- Homonymic pun
A homonymic pun uses words that are both homophones (have the same sound) and homographs (have the same spelling). The words could also have the same meaning.
“An elephant’s opinion carries a lot of weight.”
An elephant has a lot of weight, so it is assumed that its opinion also does.
- Compound pun
A compound pun has more than one pun in a sentence.
“Never scam in a jungle as the cheetahs are always spotted.”
There are two words that are punny: scam and spotted. ‘Scam’ means swindling someone out of their money, but it could also mean ‘hustling or moving in a hurry.’
‘The cheetahs are always spotted’ means the cheetahs are always seen in the jungle and they have spots on their coats. So, this compound pun means we must be careful in the jungle, otherwise we will get chased by the cheetahs.
- Recursive pun
A recursive pun is a pun that we can only understand by knowing the origin of it.
“May the Fourth be with you.”
This sentence is a modification of Star Wars’ famous line ‘May the Force be with you.’
- Visual pun
A visual pun uses visual cues, whether it is a drawing or a symbol.
“I think you’re fantastic (Fanta-stick).”
Picture credit: on the picture