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What Are the Different Types of Pun Games?

By D. Coodin
Updated May 23, 2024
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Drawing on word play and double meanings, pun games can be fun and engaging activities. Teachers can use pun games in the classroom to help students become familiar with multiple definitions and language in general. Children and adults alike can also play pun games at home, at parties, on long car trips or virtually anywhere else. There are many different types of games that rely on word play, such as guessing games, contests, and back-and-forth games. When played properly, these types of pun games can generate a lot of laughter from their participants.

Some pun games can involve jokes and riddles. In this type of pun game, one player thinks of a riddle, the answer to which involves some sort of word play, and asks it to the rest of the group. The first player to come up with the correct answer takes the next turn asking a riddle. For example, a player could ask, "How does the moon cut his hair?" Players must think carefully to come up with the answer, "Eclipse it," which plays on the similarity between the sounds "eclipse" and "he clips."

For competitive groups, pun games can involve a contest for coming up with the best pun. Typically, a judge is appointed to select a topic at random. Individuals or groups involved are given a set amount of time to come up with a clever play on words. The judge would then read the submissions over and decide on the winner, based on originality, humor or any other factor. For instance, if the topic is "pets," a team could write, "The dog who gave birth on the side of the road was fined for littering," which plays on the multiple definitions of the word "litter," meaning both trash and a group of newborn puppies.

Some pun games involve a back-and-forth between two players or among a large group, where players take turns inventing puns and trying to one-up each other. In this type of pun game, one player suggests a topic, such as "exercise." The next player would have to invent a pun on the spot, such as, "The man fired his personal trainer because he wasn't working out." That player must then come up with the topic for the next player's pun, and so on. These types of pun games work well for long car trips, because they can continue endlessly, or until the game "runs out of gas."

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Discussion Comments

By Drentel — On Nov 30, 2014

My wife and I went to a party the other week, and while we were there we played some kind of pun game where we had to match pictures with the puns. Normally, I'm not a big fan of party games and word and picture games, but this was fun because it was simple, but still challenging.

I never thought I would say this, but puns can be fun, even though I consider them to be silly and annoying for the most part in everyday life.

By Sporkasia — On Nov 29, 2014

This article mentions that you can play pun games when you are traveling in the car. Nowadays, you can buy apps for your phones that will allow you to play pun games with the help of your phone. These are great for keeping the kids entertained when you are traveling.

One of the headaches of traveling for our family is the layover time spent in airports and then the time on the flights as well. With the pun game app the kids can keep themselves entertained and our family trips are much less stressful. And when we are in the car, I don't have to hear "Are we there yet?" quite as often as I used to.

By Animandel — On Nov 28, 2014

I think word games are great for family gatherings. There was always a word game of some type under the Christmas tree in our house. On Christmas morning we would open the gifts, and then when the entire family came over for dinner, we would eat and then break out the word games and have a lot of fun.

I am definitely going to try a couple of the pun games mentioned in this article and see how they work out. The good aspect of these games mentioned in the article is that you only need your mind and imagination -- no batteries required.

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