Publishing Partner: Cambridge University Press CUP Extra Publisher Login

New from Cambridge University Press!


Revitalizing Endangered Languages

Edited by Justyna Olko & Julia Sallabank

Revitalizing Endangered Languages "This guidebook provides ideas and strategies, as well as some background, to help with the effective revitalization of endangered languages. It covers a broad scope of themes including effective planning, benefits, wellbeing, economic aspects, attitudes and ideologies."

We Have a New Site!

With the help of your donations we have been making good progress on designing and launching our new website! Check it out at!
***We are still in our beta stages for the new site--if you have any feedback, be sure to let us know at***

Academic Paper

Title: Covert Puns as a Source of Slang Words in English
Author: Antonio Lillo
Email: click here TO access email
Institution: Universidad de Alicante
Linguistic Field: Lexicography; Morphology
Subject Language: English
Abstract: Sometimes the formation of puns based on homophony depends not on development from an iconic word which is removed, but on a whole network of linguistic (both phonological and semantic) and often also extralinguistic associations. A particularly striking example is the British slangism 'Bruce' for an ‘ounce of a drug’. No doubt an arcane coinage to the uninitiated, the pun hinges on the homophones Oz ‘Australia’ and oz ‘an ounce of a drug’, but also on the widely held belief that Bruce is the most popular male name down under. Granted, the convoluted interplay of form, meaning and shared cultural knowledge this pun displays makes it something of an oddity in the slang lexicon. Yet there are many others whose formation, though admittedly less involved, results from the clever combination of analogies at different levels of linguistic organization. In this article, the author outlines the workings of these ‘covert’ puns, their basic architecture and their most common patterns, and offers a glossary that illustrates their productivity in English slang.
Type: Individual Paper
Status: Completed
Publication Info: English Studies. Vol. 89, No. 3, 2008: 319-338.
Add a new paper
Return to Academic Papers main page
Return to Directory of Linguists main page