#590…sci, relig, ETC: “The Shakespeare Effect and Signage”


Yes, puns are perhaps the lowest form of wit.


   Still, we have William Shakespeare using from 1000 to 3000 puns¹ in his plays  and other writings to keep the pun treading water and our English language afloat.


   • In the opening of Julius Caesar a commoner identifies himself as a cobbler: “a mender of soles,” and then adds, “Truly sir, all I live by is with the awl. I meddle with no tradesman’s matters, nor women’s matters, but with awl. I am indeed a surgeon to old shoes; when they are in great danger I recover them.”


For more use the DOOR.




   Hamlet [in Hamlet] distressed about his mother, the Queen’s, hasty marriage to his uncle, King Claudius:

King:  “But now my cousin Hamlet, and my son–“

Hamlet:  “A little more than kin and less than kind.”

King:  “How is it that the clouds still hang on you?”

Hamlet: “Not so, my lord, I am too much in the ‘son'”


   Now let’s go lower with some punny slogans from businesses & such:

   On a diaper service truck:  Rock a dry baby.

   On an electric company van:  Power to the people.

   On a plumber’s truck:  A flush is better than a full house.

   In front of a church:  Stop here for your holiday spirits.

   In a Catholic church:  Litany candles?

   In a bar:  I’m not a slow bartender. I’m not a fast bartender. I’m a half fast bartender.

   In a sporting goods store:  How about a boomerang for the girl who returns everything?

   Outside a strip tease theater:  Here the belles peel.

   On a peanut stand:  If our peanuts were any fresher, they’d be insulting.

   Over an antique shop:  Remains to be seen.


   ¹ Richard Lederer, Get Thee To a Punnery p. 9 and p.8. (Wyrick & Co., Charleston, SC, 1988).

Author: John Knapp