Wordplay or play on words is a technique in literature which is a form of wit and playfulness. The main intention of this is to use words in such a way that they seem like innuendos primarily for a specific intended meaning of a word which is entirely for amusement. This play on word is termed as Logology in the English literature and is a fun way of looking into the daily words we use.
- 1 How to Do Play on Words
- 1.1 Techniques to Create Wordplay:
- 1.2 Examples of Word Play
- 2 Conclusion
How to Do Play on Words
Wordplay is very common in the oral cultures of the English language and many other languages as well.
Play on words, simply is a method of reinforcing the meaning of a certain word.
Techniques to Create Wordplay:
The following methods to play on words in the English literature:
This technique is to create words that have a racy interpretation by using an ambiguous word or phrase.
These are the words or phrases for using unintentionally which switch the incorrect word for the correct one and have a humorous result and play on words.
This technique is the joining of two entirely incompatible words or ideas in a single phrase.
This is a word that is used so that two or more possible meanings of a word are active simultaneously. This is also used in phrases in place of like-sounding words which are not always the homonyms of that word.
This is the process of adding a twist or a sort of surprise ending to a predictable ending of a typical word phrase or expression. Double entendres and nouns depend on the reforming of words for wordplay and play on words.
This is the opposite of a double entendre. This is based on the literal meaning of a keyword in a phrase.
This is a statement of a cliche or expression and follow by a rather exaggerated form of commentary.
Examples of Word Play
The English literature has a lot of words, and amongst these words, there are words that are used to describe other words and words that can be played with to make them sound funny for one’s amusement. Some of the examples of wordplay or play on words are below:
Ambigrams are those words that read the same way when they are read from any other view, direction, or perspective or orientation.
Anagrams are those words which are to create different words or phrases by rearranging the words and letters from another word or phrase. For example, the word dormitory when rearranged spells out a dirty room.
Aptronyms are those words that are given to a specific person’s name and regard to be amusingly appropriate to that person’s occupation or livelihood. For example, Amy Freeze where the freeze is the aptronym given to her because of her profession as a meteorologist and play on words.
These are the words or phrases which are in such a way that it spells out another word or in simple words termed as a reverse acronym.
A Blend is merging the sounds and meanings of two or more words. For example, the word smog is originated by combining the words smoke and fog.
Contronyms are those words that have two opposite meanings. For example, the word Dust means to add fine particles again; it means to remove them.
Eponyms are those words which are to name someone, something, or someplace after something or someone. For example, Walt Disney is an eponym for Disneyland.
Inaptronym is almost the reverse of an aptronym; it is the inappropriate or ironic name for someone rather than being descriptive. For example, Samuel Foote was an actor who has lost his leg in a horseback rising incident yet has the name, Foote.
Isograms are those words which have no repeating letters in the formation of the word. For example, a trampoline.
An incorrect word, in place of another word with a similar sound, then that phenomenon is Malapropism. For example, a common mistake is seen in pronouncing the phrase, the Sistine Chapel as the Sixteenth Chapel.
Palindromes are those who read the same or spell the same when reading backward and forwards. For example, the word rotator spells the same from backward.
Pangrams are those words or phrases which contain every single letter of the English alphabet at least once. For example, the common phrase, A quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog, has every letter from the alphabet.
Rebuses are types of puzzles that use pictures or diagrams to represent words or parts of a sentence.
Semordnilaps are those words and play on words or phrases which act almost like palindromes but have different meanings to it when read or spelled backward. For example, the word desserts mean sweet dishes when spelled backward becomes stressed, which means to be tensed.
A spoonerism is another type of wordplay that switches the corresponding morphemes, vowels, or consonants between two words in a sentence. For example, “ don’t pet the sweaty things and don’t sweat the petty things ,” is a famous quote by George Carlin.
The English language has a variety of words with different meanings and also has words with the same meanings but different spellings. These words are often taken into account by people and made a bit more humorous for the sake of one’s pleasure, and this type of play on words is the wordplay. This phenomenon plays an important role in making the English language a bit more interesting to learn and study.
See also: Top 10 Crossword Apps to Play as of 2019