pun

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pun,

use of words, usually humorous, based on (a) the several meanings of one word, (b) a similarity of meaning between words that are pronounced the same, or (c) the difference in meanings between two words pronounced the same and spelled somewhat similarly, e.g., Thomas Hood's "They went and told the sexton and the sexton tolled the bell." Puns have also been used seriously, as in the Bible, Mat. 16.18: "Thou art Peter [Gr. Petros], and upon this rock [Gr. petra] I will build my church."

Pun

 

a stylistic turn of phrase or the epigram of a particular author based on the humorous use of the identical sound of words that have different meanings, of words or phrases that have similar sounds, or of different meanings of the same word or phrase. Some of the forms of puns are as follows:

(1)Juxtaposition of homonyms:

OPTIMISTENKO: … U vas es’ zakliuchenie? (Are you finished?; Have you reached a finding?)

WOMAN PETITIONER: Net, batiushka, nel’zia emu zakliuchenie davat’… Mozhno, govoriat, ego na nedeliu zakliuchi’, a ia chego, batiushka, kusha’-to budu? (No, sir, he can’t be confined…. If he’s confined for a week, say, what will I eat meanwhile?)

V. V. Mayakovsky, The Bathhouse

[The pun is on the two meanings of the noun zakliuchenie and the verb zakliuchit’, which may mean “finding” and “to find” or “imprisonment” and “to imprison,” respectively.]

(2)Sound similarity of words in a narrow context:

Na vsiakogo zaveduiushchego est’ svoi zaviduiushschii. (Every director has one who envies him.)

E. Krotkii, Unwritten Fragments

[The similarity of the words zaveduiushchii, “director,” and zaviduiushchii, “one who envies,” is used.]

(3)Contrast of homophones:

Priiatno polaska’ ditia ili sobaku, no vsego neobkhodimee poloskar’ rot. (It’s nice to pet a child or dog, but to wet one’s whistle is even more important.)

Koz’ma Prutkov, Thoughts and Aphorisms

[The words polaskat’, “to pet” or “to caress,” and poloskat’, “to rinse” or “to wet one’s whistle,” have virtually identical pronunciation.]

(4)Juxtaposition of homographs:

la priekhal v Moskvu, plachú i plachú. (I came to Moscow, and now I’m paying and crying.)

P. A. Viazemskii, letter to V. F. Viazemskaia,

May 31, 1854

[The stress is the only means of distinguishing plachú, “I pay,” and plachú, “I cry.”]

(5)Breakdown of set phrases and imparting a new meaningto them:

On nes vzdor, no nes ego v zhurnaly. (He talked nonsense but took it to the newspapers.)

E. Krotkii, Unwritten Fragments

[The verb nesti is used here first in a figurative meaning, in nesti vzdor, “to talk nonsense,” and then in its literal meaning, “to carry,” “to take.”]

(6)Various meanings of the same word or phrase:

Est’p’esy nastol’koslabye, chto ne mogut soiti so stseny. (There are plays so weak that they cannot leave the stage.)

S. J. Lec, Unkempt Thoughts

[The word slabyi, which in the context would normally mean “of low quality,” is taken in its literal meaning, “weak.”]

(7)Jocular etymologizing:

—Khochesh’ chaiu, Nikanor? … (Want some tea, Nikanor? …)

—Net, spasibo, ia uzhe otchaialsia. (No thanks, I’ve already fallen into despair.)

E. Petrov, The Jokester

[Here a new, impossible meaning, “to have had enough tea,” is made up for the verb otchaiat’sia, “to despair,” based on its sound similarity to chai, “tea.”]

The use of the pun in conveying a thought imparts to it particular expressiveness, emotional coloring, and entertaining quality, enhancing the humorous or satirical effect.

REFERENCE

Shcherbina, A. A. Sushchnost’ i iskusstvo slovesnoi ostroty (kalambura). Kiev, 1958.

A. I. FIURSTENBERG

pun

the use of words or phrases to exploit ambiguities and innuendoes in their meaning, usually for humorous effect; a play on words. An example is: "Ben Battle was a soldier bold, And used to war's alarms: But a cannonball took off his legs, So he laid down his arms." (Thomas Hood)
References in periodicals archive ?
The reading remains on firmer ground, though, when it confines itself to those instances of paranomasia and emergent words that are suggested by the text itself, bolstered by lines that speak directly of a "heimlichen Faden" and "niemandes Herz.
La paranomasia o paronomasia se basa en la yuxtaposicion de palabras paronimas, aquellas que solo se diferencian en un fonema, como era / ira o jamon / jabon (Serra, 2001: 418).
Las paranomasias, las derivaciones, las aliteraciones forman ese cumulo de recursos linguisticos tan utilizados por grandes escritores ingleses y por muchos del ambito hispanico como Cabrera Infante o Julian Rios.
En el capitulo XX del segundo libro de Lapoetica, Luzan lo define como la pintura de la deformidad, la necedad y la rudeza y tiene como mecanismos el empleo de paranomasias, equivocos, hiperboles e ironias.
Por ultimo, Leandro Fernandez de Moratin tambien observo que, a causa de la influencia barroca, la poesia de principios de siglo <<era toda paranomasias y equivocos, laberintos, ecos, retruecanos y cuanto desacierto es imaginable >> (80).
Los mismos anaforismos, las multiples paranomasias de otros poemas como "Mi amigo Eliot tuvo un sueno" junto a la sintaxis de fluidez yuxtapuesta o copulativa/consecutiva, los paralelismos versales, las oposiciones entre mundos y encuentros expresadas en imagenes de la civilizacion y de la naturaleza densifican, dan espesura, a los alados versos de estos poemas, muchas veces juguetones y rapidos.
Dentro de este grupo, De Cozar incluye los tautogramas, lipogramas, los serpentinos, los ecos, jitanjaforas, paranomasias y el artificio que algunos llaman "versos de cabo roto" donde podemos incluir el poema 17 de nuestro cancionero:
Nesse aspecto, ha que se destacar tambem na lirica mallarmeana os jogos vocabulares atraves de paranomasias, anagramas, assonancias e aliteracoes (como em "MESMO QUANDO LANCADO [LANCE DE DADOS] EM CIRCUNSTANCIAS ETERNAS, (3) no Un Coup), nos quais se destaca tambem o papel da rimas, que se devoram e se refletem, contribuindo para romper, com sua associacoes verticais, o encadeamento linear do verso.
14) Es sorprendente indicar lo que sigue, rindiendose lo mismo que el autor, a hermosas repeticiones, paranomasias, hiperbatos, gradaciones, etc, que aparecen "como pequenos oasis en el relato arido y extenso de hechos guerreros" (Vega 47).
Podemos apreciar, por ejemplo, que la eufonia matiza el aspecto semantico de los textos a partir de paranomasias ("bocas, bocas, buscas, barcos") y secuencias donde los sonidos dan cuenta de una exuberancia fonica ("Nuestras noches mas negras por guarida"), ("Sed y sol / ceniza y sal / de nuevo), ("Solos, solas, soles y sales").
Igual cosa ocurre con la memoria del temperamento sonoro tan evidente en la seleccion vocalica y agrupaciones consonanticas, en las aliteraciones, las paranomasias, y, desde luego, las onomatopeyas.
que em-palado descanse)" (36), "butaca electrica" (46)), palabras-valija ("Lunametralladora" (41)) aliteraciones ("Neil Armstrong / el tipo con cara de gringo y nombre de gringo" (43)), rimas inusuales ("canotaje"-"traje" (37) "buey"-"ley"-"rey" (52)), y numerosas paranomasias ("desafinas & desatinas" (38), "bucles / buques" (57), "Especies de espacios" (65)) que incluso se secuencian recordando a Huidobro: