Pun (also called paronomasia) - a play on words or the humorous use of a word emphasizing a different meaning or application. They have been called by some “the lowest form of humor.”
The term comes from combining two Greek words: para, meaning “beside,” and onomasia, meaning “naming.”
Puns have appeared in literature since Homer’s writings in the Eighth Century B.C.
There is a famous pun uttered by Mercutio as he is dying in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet:
“Ask for me tomorrow and you shall find me a grave man.”
Act III, scene i : lines 97 – 98
Explore all literary terms.
Unlock This Study Guide Now
Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.
- 30,000+ book summaries
- 20% study tools discount
- Ad-free content
- PDF downloads
- 300,000+ answers
- 5-star customer support
Already a member? Log in here.