Puns of the world:-)

This post is NOT serious :smile:
After a fairly traumatic experience on the Someone Kick Me thread where the English Pun was given an excessive airing, the question occurs to me about what form (if any) the pun takes in other languages and cultures.

I’d be fascinated by any answers especially with examples translated into English.

My wife has nearly cured me of making puns not by laughing, not by groaning but by ignoring. As any fellow offender will appreciate, this is an unbearable “punishment”. :scream:


umm… the most painful woodland animal to step on in Wales? Wiwer pigog.

for those not familiar with the vocab yet - pigog is barbed and the pun on wiren (wire) and wiwer (squirrel)

… I’ll get my coat…


Why did the seaside donkey give up his job?
Oedd RIDE i fe.

I’ll get my coat and my jacket after that one.


I have always found English to be “punnier” than my mother-tongue german, and while I could endlessly quote english examples springing from the genius minds of Terry Pratchett and Douglas Adams, I struggle to come up with decent german examples.

One thing that comes to mind is that for some descriptive words the plural of the noun and the conjugated verb in the 3rd plural are the same word, like when you take the insect “fly” (Fliege) and the associated verb “to fly” (fliegen), leading to sentences such as:
Wenn hinter Fliegen Fliegen fliegen fliegen Fliegen Fliegen nach.
(When flies are flying behind flies, flies are flying after flies)

There are literally dozens of other words following that same pattern, leading to sentences of varying degrees of sanity.


Which is just like the well known American English sentance;

Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo.

Which is a lttle bit less of a detailed explanation of the one I heard on R4 a few years ago, but gives the idea of why.
Any similar examples in Welsh?


A bilingual street sign that I passed today read:
Heol y gât / Gate Road.
Taking the liberty of using the Roman for Gate = Road, then we have:
Road Road / Road Road


Various sources point out that any sentence of n x buffalo is grammatical, for n > 0. What I liked - but that has since been removed from the Wikipedia page and is mentioned only on the related ‘Talk’ page - was the understated explanation of this constraint: “Rational sentences, however, generally include at least one word.”


My son learned the Buffalo example when he was going out with an actual “Buffalo Gal” who also gave us a long phrase which sounded to my British ears like “merry, merry, merry …”. I think variations of “merry, Mary, marry …” were involved.

I can’t think of any Welsh examples but we have, in English:
“I think that that that that that man used” or -
“John, in the sentence which had had had had had had had had had had the preference”


There’s some similar with Welsh but aren’t the same word - dydy dy dad di ddim yn dy dŷ du di?


that’s one to try ar ol gwydr neu ddau!!


I refer you to @Iestyn’s one about “Dydy tedi du dy dad di ddim yn deidi fel dy dedi du di.” :slight_smile:


Thank you all for enriching (?) my life :laughing:
We’ve had Welsh, German and English and I’m aware that les calembours / jeux de mots exist in French because of the magnificent Asterix stories but how about Dutch @louis, or Slovenian @tatjana, or Finnish or … ?

Can I narrow the definition to this:- “A joke exploiting the different possible meanings of a word or the fact that there are words which sound alike but have different meanings.” while accepting that other definitions exist?

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I have a few favourites:

Keksijä keksi keksin. Keksittyään keksin keksijä keksi keksin keksityksi.

“Kokko, kokoo koko kokko kokoon.”
“Koko kokkoko?”
“Koko kokko.”

Hilja sanoi Hiljalle hiljaa niin hiljaa, ettei Hilja kuullut kuinka hiljaa Hilja sanoi hiljaa Hiljalle hiljaa.

Kas vain sanoi kasvain ja kasvoi vain.

Haetaan lakkaa satamasta kun lakkaa satamasta. :smile:


I love those, Kiitos paljon, @Novem
I’d point out the glaring spelling errors if it weren’t against forum policy. :laughing:


My grandfather teased us with this riddle:
“Ik heb vijf vingers aan iedere hand vijf en twintig aan handen en voeten”
and also this one:
“Amsterdam die grote stad met hoeveel letters schrijft men dat?”

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I’ve always known how close English is to Dutch, Friesich, Old Norse etc but it fascinated me that I could understand both your riddles without looking anything up.

We do the “how many letters in that?” one here too (as you probably know) :smile:
We also do “A ship came into the harbour, what (Watt) was the name of the captain” which loses its point if you write it, of course.



I’m still chuckling to myself about this about 10 minutes after reading it


How do they translate??

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Here you go :smiley:

The inventor invented a cookie. After inventing the cookie, the inventor invented that the cookie was invented.

“Kokko, gather up the whole midsummer bonfire.”
“The whole midsummer bonfire?”
“The whole midsummer bonfire.”

Hilja said be quiet to Hilja so quietly that Hilja didn’t hear how quietly Hilja said be quiet to Hilja.

Let’s go get cloudberries from the harbour when it stops raining.


You could add my name on the end of that one too - Dee :slight_smile: