Sunday, June 6, 2010

Great Puns from History: Part II

Greetings, fellow Punguins!

On this historic day, time for another dip into the archives of the Punning greats of yore.

Thomas Hood (1799–1845) is perhaps one of our greatest forefathers. His written works, especially in his early days, were positively packed with Puns. In defence of our noble art, he once wrote:

"However critics may take offence,
A double meaning has double sense."

Hear hear!

An example from his real life, however, helps demonstrate why we should all Pun as often as we can on a day-to-day basis; practice makes damn near perfect Puns:
In Thomas Hood's later life, when an undertaker offered him his services, Hood quipped: "He is trying to urn a lively Hood."


P.S. Puns not guns.


  1. James Boswell, the biographer of Dr Samuel Johnson was a great lover of puns. An example:

    "I talked of the difficulty of rising in the morning. Dr. Johnson told me, 'that the learned Mrs. Carter, at that period when she was eager in study, did not awake as early as she wished, and she therefore had a contrivance, that, at a certain hour, her chamber-light should burn a string to which a heavy weight was suspended, which then fell with a strong sudden noise: this roused her from sleep, and then she had no difficulty in getting up.' But I said *that* was my difficulty; and wished there could be some medicine invented which would make one rise without pain, which I never did, unless after lying in bed a very long time. Perhaps there may be something in the stores of Nature which could do this. I have thought of a pulley to raise me gradually; but that would give me pain, as it would counteract my internal inclination."

  2. Aha brilliant! Thanks for that Mark. That Dr Johnson's biographer was fond of puns seems quite ironic, given Johnson's opinion of Shakespeare's love of punning: that punning was to Shakespeare ‘the fatal Cleopatra for which he lost the world and was content to lose it’.

  3. See today's post for more on Doc Johnson and Shakespeare, and thanks to Mark for the inspiration!