Have Yourself a Punny Little Christmas: Word Play for the Holidays
Gibbs Smith, 2006 (2006)
Reviewed by Hilary Williamson
ichard Lederer, author of
Get Thee to a Punnery
Puns Spooken Here
, and a variety of other books that explore the quirks of the English language, now brings us puns for the holidays. Jim McLean's Christmas illustrations remind us of the context and add to the humor.
ederer begins with
The True Meaning of Christmas
, summarizing its etymological roots (for example, did you know how the
relates to the French verb
or that the word
comes from a Greek dance?) He follows this fascinating introduction with
A Stockingful of Christmas Puns
, speaking of '
the time of year when mothers have to separate the men from the toys.
' I rather like '
Who hides in a bakery at Christmas? A mince spy.
' And the
ext comes a fill-in-the-blanks
, like '
An opinion poll in Alaska is called a __.
A Bloopered Christmas
follows, including young scholars' strange versions of the Christmas story and of songs, including '
Later on we'll perspire, as we dream by the fire.
' This is followed by a legal look at
The Night Prior to Christmas
- Clement Moore's poem as revised by the Grinch! Then
The Abdominal Snowman
makes puns out of Santa, his family, his reindeer ('
every buck is deer to him
') and his '
fter that we get to groan at set ups for a
Pun-thology of Holiday Songs
, like '
chess nuts boasting in an open foyer
'. I rather enjoyed the obfuscation in
Name That Christmas Carol!
(answers follow if needed). Finally, Lederer tells us about Robert Burns and
Auld Lang Syne
... And a Happy New Year
, which offers variations like '
Happy Gnu Year!
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