The punniest* word play skills: Puns

Speak Up London - English Language School
*See what I did there? Punniest...funniest...LOL

In our next instalment of typically British ways to communicate, this week’s blog post is dedicated to puns.

Image result for pun memes

Puns are generally defined as jokes that exploit the possible different meanings of a word OR the fact that there are words that sound the same but have completely different meanings, used for comedic or rhetorical effect. Puns are also known as double entendre [from Fr. ‘double meaning’], witticism, quips and word play.

These are not a British phenomenon either, not really; anyone with good language skills in any language can create puns. The internet has made it easier for all to see and understand them. And even before the Internet, some British TV shows in the 1970s and 1980s derived their humour from word play, shows such as Blackadder and Fawlty Towers.

Related image

(from Blackadder, starring Rowan Atkinson)


It’s unclear where the pun come from, but it has been around for a long while. William Shakespeare famously used puns and other word play tactics in his plays! Can you see how you could use these examples for comic effect – ‘sun/son’. ‘lines/loins’ and ‘ace/ass’?

The quick wit to think up a pun used to be revered as a sign of mental agility and language mastery in the Ancient times. Some believe that during the Enlightenment, the art of creating puns fell out of fashion, but since the Internet, it has made a miraculous comeback. You just need to look at memes and realise that many are puns in disguise 😉

Image result for animal puns
Image result for animal puns

Obviously, puns can be categorised: animal, objects, dad jokes, grammar, literature, maths etc. The possibilities are infinite and we’ve taken the liberty of giving you 10.

Which one do you think is the funniest? Send us some of your own or one you saw recently that you thought was funny 🙂

  1. The past, the present, and the future walked into a bar. It was tense.
  2. Jokes about German sausages are the wurst.
  3. I am on a seafood diet. I see food, I have to eat it.
  4. What’s the plural of baby? Twins.
  5. I donut understand puns.
  6. Don’t stop retrievin’, hold on to that feline.
  7. If Apple made a car, would it have Windows?
  8. What do you get if you cross an angry sheep and a moody cow? An animal that is in a baaaaad mooooood.
  9. The streets were oddly desserted that night.
  10. Puns are for children, not groan adults.

BySpeak Up London

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