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Academic Paper

Title: Turning Puns into Names and Vice Versa
Paper URL:
Author: Antonio Lillo
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Institution: Universidad de Alicante
Linguistic Field: Morphology; Sociolinguistics
Subject Language: English
Abstract: The formation of slang words in English often relies on the combined action of ellipsis and homophony. Both these processes are also used for humorous effect, and in much the same way, in the creation of nicknames. This article explores how puns based on the ellipsis of homophones or near-homophones (i.e., 'cut-down puns,' as the author terms them) may give rise to nicknames and slang words. In the first part, the author focuses on so-called 'inseparable nicknames' and examines in detail the role of allusions and cut-down puns in their formation. The second section then describes and analyses the coinage of punning slang terms derived from proper names. To this purpose, the author delves into the main subclasses of cut-down puns and, in the final section, gives good evidence of their use by offering a glossary of name-derived slang words, both old and new, drawn from a number of sources.
Type: Individual Paper
Status: Completed
Publication Info: SKY Journal of Linguistics (Journal of the Linguistic Association of Finland). Vol. 20, 2007: 429-440.
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