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Puns in Valentine’s Day cards

Im englischsprachigen Raum ist das Spiel mit der Sprache überaus beliebt – auch Valentinstagskarten kommen kaum ohne Wortspiele und wörtlich genommenen Sprachwitz aus. Da illustrieren Reagenzgläser die tolle Chemie zwischen den Liebenden und auch allerlei Obst und Gemüse wird für lustige Wortspiele herangezogen. Mehr Beispiele finden Sie in diesem Artikel aus der aktuellen Ausgabe der Read On mit beigefügtem Quiz.


By Siobhan Bruns

                “I choo choo choose you” are the words in the steam coming from a train on the Valentine’s Day card that Lisa Simpson gives to Ralph Wiggum in the American animated television series “The Simpsons”. “Choo choo” is the sound a train makes to the English-speaking ear, so the sentence is a pun.

2                 A pun is a humorous use of a word or phrase that has several meanings or that sounds like another word. One very well-known example of a pun is the joke: What’s black and white and red (= read) all over? A newspaper!

3                 English speakers are very fond of puns, and almost all children’s Valentine’s cards, like Lisa’s, have them. They usually show an illustration of the word that is being used to sound or mean something else.

4                 For instance, a card with a picture of a dinosaur and the words “You are dino-mite” or a picture of a bumblebee with the words “Will you bee mine?” are two of many examples.


0–4             pun Wortspiel — steam Dampf — animated television series TV-Zeichentrickserie — humorous humorvoll — phrase Ausdruck — meaning Bedeutung — to be fond of s.th. etw. mögen — for instance zum Beispiel — bumblebee Hummel


See if you can complete these puns. For some you’ll have to think a bit beyond what the picture shows. Answers below.

Fotos: Pixabay

Answers: cherry (for very) • Wool (for Will) • light • Orange (for Aren’t) • lion (for lying) • plane (for plain) • pieces