Speaking of puns (the remarkable German language)

Mark A. Mandel Mark_Mandel at DRAGONSYS.COM
Fri Dec 15 15:42:50 UTC 2000

Allan <AAllan at AOL.COM> writes:

Now that Ron Butters has brought up the subject of puns, here's something I
learned long ago (1961) when I was a student in West Berlin. A fellow student
one day solemnly explained to me that in German, you can say one word and
give it two simultaneous meanings - what we would call a pun. Furthermore, he
explained, German is the only language that can do that.

Er wollte sagen: Nur auf Deutsch kann *ich* das tun.
D.h.: He meant to say, "German is the only language in which *I* can do

(Apologies for any errors in German. Oh, well, if you insist, apologies for
posting this at all. But not many ;-)\  .)

A related question: ISTR* seeing the French word "calembour" used for a
pun. Does that trace back to something like 'collision', scil. of two
meanings in one word/sentence? Related to Spanish "!caramba!"?

*I seem to recall...

-- Mark

More information about the Ads-l mailing list