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ELC - English Language Center Santa Barbara
English Grammar Lesson – How very pun-ny of you! August 2nd, 2016

Puns are popular in the English language and often used for jokes. They work in many ways: the first way is a word or multiple words have more than one meaning; and the second way is that different words have the same sound (homophones).

For example:

On our famed State Street in Santa Barbara, the store Saks Fifth Avenue currently has this ad running:

Plead the fifth pun

–with the following tagline: “Get away with amazing steals!” Here they are using “5th” to mean their store instead of using “fifth” to mean the “fifth amendment,” a law that says you have the right not to incriminate yourself, or the right not to reveal that you were part of a crime. This idea is continued with the use of the phrasal verb “get away,” which means to “escape”–as in “escape” from the police!

Another real life example of a pun is the use of “flour” instead of “flower” for baking companies. We have seen companies called Sunflour (“sunflower”) and Wildflour (“wildflower”), using the baking ingredient with the exact same sound as the plant.

Puns are difficult to catch, but they are a very interesting way to play with the language. Here are some puns you might find funny:

– A waiter asks the customer, “How was your breakfast?” The customer replies, “Eggs-ellent.” (excellent)

– Boyfriend: “What is your favorite music group?” Girlfriend: “I love U2!” (you, too) Boyfriend: “I love you, too, but I want to know about your favorite music, group.”

– I wondered why the baseball looked like it was getting bigger. Then it hit me. (“to hit [somebody]” is for that somebody to realize something, but it also means to literally and physically “hit” their body)

– Why was the basketball coach mad at Cinderella? She kept running away from the ball. (“the ball” means the basketball or the party)

We love puns in English because, well, who doesn’t like a cheesy joke? Cheesy jokes are the best unless you are “bleu” (blue for sad). Puns are everywhere if you know how to spot them!

Wok this way pun

“Wok” (the special Asian pan) instead of “Walk [this way]”, which means “Come this direction to our restaurant!”

For the adventurous pup, visit Indiana Bones

For your adventurous dog’s new haircut, Indiana “Jones” has become Indiana “Bones,” and the “Temple of Doom” is now a “Temple of Groom”!

You wanna pizza me? pun

Well, do you want a “pizza” (piece of) me?