English Language Blog

Having Some Fun With Puns Posted by on Jan 18, 2012 in English Grammar, English Language, English Vocabulary

Recently we have had a look at homophones and homographs. Now that we have done all the hard work, we can have a little bit of fun by using what we have learned and practised to make puns.

Puns are jokes that rely on homophones and homographs for their humor.  For example: My pony is a little hoarse today.  Hoarse means to sound rough and harsh, typically as the result of a sore throat or of shouting.  But hoarse is pronounced the same way that the word horse (a four legged animal with a mane and a tail) is spelled.  So, since a pony is a type of horse, the sentence becomes (a bit) funny.

To get you started, take a look at the words below and try to come up with another word that sounds the same but has a different meaning and spelling.  If you don’t know what a word means, you can always look it up in a dictionary.











Now that you have some words to work with, choose some of the paired words to write punning sentences.  To get your creative juices flowing you might like to take a look at this clip from the BBC program, The One Ronnie.  The sketch makes a lot of jokes and puns (hint: think about what items we use (e.g. mobile phones, computers, game consoles) that have fruit-related names).


Example answers from last week’s homographs post (you may have different answers):

Old Sentence:  The old castle had a large, square keep.

New Sentence:  Please keep your hands and arms inside the car at all times.


Old Sentence:  She won a new bike in the prize draw.

New Sentence:  My sister taught me how to draw pictures of animals.


Old Sentence:  That dog loves when you throw a stick.

New Sentence:  I wish I could stick with my plan to drink only water.


Old Sentence:  The paper has a large tear in it.

New Sentence:  He had a tear in his eye when he was watching the sad part of the movie.


Old Sentence:  The lady ground the coffee beans in a grinder.

New Sentence:  He planted some bushes in the ground in front of his new house.


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