There are a million examples of puns.

Examples of puns are fun to hear, especially when you love the English language and the way words are formed like I do. Word play is one of the best and most wonderful aspects of creative writing, or academic writing for that matter. Learning to play with language and find new and interesting ways to express yourself is a creative writing exercise in itself.

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Quite some time ago, I came home to find that the front lawn had been cut. I walked in the door and was greeted by my husband. I told him that the front lawn looked nice. Being the jokester that he is, he tried to convince me that it wasn't cut. He told me it was an "optical conclusion." I smiled immediately, knowing full well that he had definitely been the one to cut the lawn and he was trying to make me question my certainty of that fact. It was the perfect pun example for the day. Examples of puns like this one abound in daily conversation. Some people may not even realize they are hearing puns as they converse with others, or when they watch TV and movies or read books.

A great pun example that shows word play at its finest is: "A pun is its own reword." Cute, isn't it? Let's dissect it to be sure we understand clearly and do not have to ask "what is a pun?" When you say a pun, you are using similar words or phrases to make a point, a joke, or clarify an understanding in a creative way. In "a pun is its own reword," the word "reword" is a play on "reward." A pun is literally a rewording of something else, but the pun in this particular instance is that "reword" is similar to "reward."

There are more examples of puns than that one, though. Puns can be found in double entendres as well. For example, a sign at a crossing for deer might read: "The Buck Stops Here." There is a dual meaning intended here. It literally means that responsibility is not passed on after a certain point, but it can also mean that a buck (another name for a male deer) has to stop at the crossing.

Some other cute examples of puns are:

1. The Energizer bunny was arrested and charged with battery.

2. The optometrist made a spectacle of himself.

3. Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.

4. A chicken crossing the road is poultry in motion.

5. I used to be twins. My mother has a picture of me when I was two.


For pun example #1, the word play lies in the fact that the Energizer bunny runs on batteries in order to be able to move, and when he was arrested, he was charged with battery (another term for hurting someone). The play on words has its focus on the "charged with battery" part of the pun, because if you just said, "The Energizer bunny was arrested," there would hardly be something funny to laugh about. Learning more about the arrest makes the pun funnier.

For pun example #2, optometrists are eye doctors, so the fact that he made a spectacle of himself is funny because he gets people set up to wear spectacles (another term for glasses).

Pun example #3 is great word play, because at first glance you may not notice the pun, but then you see the play on words at work. Obviously fruit cannot really fly, so the pun comes to the forefront when you realize that fruit is not really flying, but a type of fly is being mentioned -- a fruit fly. "Time flies like an arrow" is a simile comparing the way that time seems to pass by so quickly to how fast an arrow flies by. The second part of the phrase contains the pun, because the word "flies" is meant in a different way that time around.

These are all funny puns. Examples of puns like #4 are cute because they take words and phrases that you tend to use on a regular basis and make them contain different, stylized meanings. "Poultry in motion" is a play on "poetry in motion." If it makes you smile, then this pun, and any of the others mentioned, for that matter, are doing their jobs.

Finally, pun example #5 plays on the word "twins." Obviously, a person cannot be his or her own twin. Usually there is a sister or a brother that makes for the twin being mentioned. This pun is creative in its word play because the picture that the mother has is obviously of her child when he or she was two years old, but the word "two" can have two different meanings here, in that it can be taken to mean that the person being mentioned was actually two people, or was actually two years old.

Examples of Puns

All of the above examples of puns are great instances of word play. Think of words and phrases that you know that you can take two or more different meanings from. Ask yourself, "What is a pun that I can use?" and go ahead and make up your own. Here are a couple quick examples to give you some idea of how you too can create your own. In the first example below, the word play can be found in the word "appeal." A banana has "a peel," and in court you make "appeals." In the second example, the phrase "patience is a virtue" is the recipient of the pun.

The banana was brought to court and made an appeal.

The doctor has always said that waiting on his patients is a virtue in which he takes much pride.

Consider words and phrases. Check out how to go about taking word meaning from context, or how to read double entendres and see the various meanings that can be construed. Enjoy the word play that you come up with and continue to create your own examples of puns until you have come up with the most creative poetry, story, or other writing idea possible.


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