What are some common types of wordplay?

Common types of wordplay include puns, double entendres, paraprosdokians, spoonerisms, and malapropisms.

  • Puns: Wordplay based on the multiple meanings of words or the similarity of sound between different words (e.g., “I’m a dentist, so I know the drill.”)
  • Double entendres: Phrases or expressions with two interpretations, one of which is usually somewhat risqué or taboo (e.g., “The butcher backed into the meat grinder and got a little behind in his work.”)
  • Paraprosdokians: Sentences or phrases with an unexpected ending or twist, often leading to humor or surprise (e.g., “Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana.”)
  • Spoonerisms: Errors in speech where corresponding consonants, vowels, or morphemes are switched between two words in a phrase (e.g., “It is kisstomary to cuss the bride.”)
  • Malapropisms: The mistaken use of a word in place of a similar-sounding one, often resulting in nonsensical or humorous statements (e.g., “Texas has a lot of electrical votes.”)
  • Mondegreens: Misheard or misinterpreted phrases or lyrics, often resulting in humorous or nonsensical meanings (e.g., “Excuse me while I kiss the sky” from the Jimi Hendrix song “Purple Haze” is often misheard as “Excuse me while I kiss this guy.”)