Also found in: Dictionary, Medical, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Graphic Thesaurus  🔍
Display ON
Animation ON
  • noun

Synonyms for punning

a humorous play on words

References in periodicals archive ?
A fundamental assumption made right at the outset should be that the sole kind of meaning able to engender contrast needed for the desired punning effect is conceptual (alternatively termed "denotative", "cognitive" or "logical").
By way of contrast, the second part of the study is an attempt at classifying punning forms into interlingual puns, proper name puns as well as idiomand compound-based puns (3.
The understanding of multiple obsolete meanings put to punning purposes was markedly facilitated by explanations found in: Schmidt (1902), Onions (1919), Rubinstein (1989), Ellis (1973) and Partridge (1961).
Secondly and more importantly, the process of selecting data from Shakespeare's texts is beset with difficulties arising from appreciable temporal distance, separating his plays from their modern recipients, which affects language materially, blurring the true picture of the playwright's punning practices.
18) Furthermore, the reader needs to reckon with the practice of deliberate phonetic manipulation intended for punning purposes, where regular pronunciations of the day are abandoned in favour of substandard varieties of dialectal or vulgar provenance (Delabastita 1993: 85; Kokeritz 1953: 65-66), which markedly obscures the overall picture of Shakespeare's homophony.
13)) and (ii) often admit insufficient semantic distance between them, upsetting the final punning effect.
To make things worse, in both Kokeritz (1953) and Ellis (1973) the term "homonymic" puns is synonymous not only with the present understanding of "homophonic" but also "nonpolysemic (homonymic)" punning.
The multiplicity of punning forms there is largely the consequence of the specificity of the English language which was undergoing sweeping changes in the Elizabethan era, principally lexical (such as the importation of Romance loan-words).
Accordingly, the preponderance of homonymous puns, as evinced in the study, seems to run counter to a prevailing opinion on punning in the play as a carefree and naive experimentation with words which lacks refinement, commonly ascribed to Shakespeare's riper writing.
allows to conclude that Shakespeare did not content himself with plain punning forms but practiced refining their structure, locating some of them additionally within idiomatic, interlingual and other patterns.