No pun intended

Who has not heard nor read the phrase ‘no pun intended’?

Reyna Elena recently dropped a comment on my blogpost, Pardon my French.

And I remembered that I was supposed to blog about the word ‘pun’, which is something very familiar to us if we read newspapers.

I came across some background information on the word ‘pun’ in Wikipedia while researching on the phrase ‘pardon my French’ for my blogpost.

According to Wikipedia:

A pun, ... is a form of word play that deliberately exploits ambiguity between similar-sounding words for humorous or rhetorical effect.
In particular, I will blog on bilingual pun.

According to Wikipedia:

A bilingual pun is a pun in which a word in one language is similar to a word in another language. Typically, use of bilingual puns results in in-jokes, since there is often a very small overlap between speakers of the two languages.
Consider these following examples from Wikipedia.


As a Cebuano-speaking Bol-anon I am familiar with some of the examples used.

A donut vendor shouts, “Do not buy”

(He is actually saying, “Donut bai!”, where the word bai means friend.)

I first heard of that pun years ago (early 2000s) in a TV advert for the Philippine Ad Congress held in Cebu City at that time. It features a smiling man saying “Donut bay!”

Cebuano language share some words with the Tagalog language but with different meanings.

Consider the examples below:

“Ang langgam sa Tagalog nagkamang pa samtang ang sa Cebuano, milupad na!”

(Langgam in Tagalog means “ant”, nga nagkamang pa “is still walking”, while langgam in Cebuano means “bird”, nga milupad na “has flown away”)

“Samtang ang Cebuano nahinanok na ug tulog nga naghabol, ang Tagalog gihangak sa kakahabol.”

(Habol in Cebuano means “blanket” that is why he was nahinanok na ug tulog “in deep sleep”, while habol in Tagalog means “to run after somebody” that is why he was gihangak “panting” after all those running!)


The Dutch prime minister is visiting the American president. At some point after dinner the president asks, “Do you have any hobbies?” The prime minister things for a moment and says, “Yes, I fok horses.” “Pardon?” “Yes, paarden.”

(Breeding in Dutch is fokken (singular fok), which sounds like "fuck"; horses in Dutch is paarden, which sounds like "pardon").


A Marathi woman and her daughter are shopping in a grocery store. The girl asks her mother, “Aai aapan chicken aani fish donihi wikat ghenaar aahe kaa? (Mother are we going to buy both chicken and fish?) to which the mother replies, “Fakta chicken.” The store clerk, who’s not a Marathi speaker, overhears this conversation and say, “Ma’am, we don’t allow that kind of language in this store.”

(Fakta in Marathi means “only,” but sounds like “fuck the” to an English speaker.)


“It’s not the fart that kills you, it’s the smell.”

(Fart means “speed” while smell means “bang” or “impact.”)


An English couple are travelling by train in Skane (southern Sweden). At one stop, two local farm boys board the train and take their seats in the same compartment. One is tall, blond and striking, while the other one is short and plain. The Englishwoman admires the tall youth for a moment, then remarks to her husband:
“What a handsome face!”
The short boy blushes and answers:
Nay, frun, det var jag.”

(“What a handsome face” sounds like the Swedish phrase “Var det han some fes? i.e. “Was it he who farted?” – especially if pronounced with the Scanian dialect of Swedish. The boy’s answer means “No, ma’am, it was I.”)

If you want to have some more laughs, visit the Wikipedia article on bilingual pun.

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