Puns are funny, and they take a good deal of imagination and linguistic skill to create. In fact, many of our favorite jokes rely on the magic of puns.
Some of the best puns fall under the category of “what idiot called it X and not Y,” in which a word that we all take for granted, like step dad, is replaced with a punny alternative, like faux pa.
The following list of ‘what idiot called it’ puns is sure to make you crack a smile!
what idiot called it a stepdad and not a faux pa
— Shibesh (@lordoftheshibs) February 27, 2016
By definition, a pun is a joke that involves a “play on words.”
Puns are commonly used to make people laugh, and many of our favorite ‘classic’ jokes rely on puns. Oftentimes, a pun uses a word that can have more than one meaning, even if it has a different spelling.
Who called it your foot falling asleep and not coma toes?
— mo (@chuuew) January 1, 2016
British people in particular love making puns, good and bad ones. Lewis Carroll used many puns throughout his famous books Alice in Wonderland and Alice Through the Looking Glass.
what idiot called it a "randomized clinical trial controlled with placebo" and not "trick or treatment"
— over my desflurane (@ACflurane) October 8, 2018
Researchers suggest that there’s a science to how good puns, funny puns, and even bad puns work.
Not all puns are stupid, nor are the people who create them. In fact, a 2011 study published in the journal of Intelligence found that puns are linked to mental and mating aptitude.
Furthermore, other experts agree that puns help people communication in a more economical and effective manner.
What idiot called it "insomnia" and not "resisting a rest"?
— Scary Terry F (@daemonic3) November 20, 2013
“For most of Western history, puns were a sign of high intellect,” John Pollack, author of The Pun Also Rises, told The Atlantic. “They were a tool, and they remain a tool, to pack more meaning into fewer words.”
What idiot called them high heels instead of arch enemies
— Paige (@PeachCoffin) April 13, 2015
It takes both sides of your brain to come up with a pun, or any joke for that matter.
While the left side of your brain, the linguistic hemisphere, processes the basic language of the pun, the right side is busy revealing the surprise double-meaning, aka the punchline.
What idiot called it "car repair" and not "autocorrect"?
— Wheezy Nurse© MSN RN (@WheezyNurse) March 13, 2016
Computers are starting to get in on the action as well – which means one day we’ll have punny robots running around.
In 2011, scientists at the University of Washington were able to write a program that could add “that’s what she said” to appropriate sentences as much as 72 percent of the time.
What idiot called it Paris Fashion Week instead of French dressing?
— Tom Dale (@tomdale) February 22, 2016
In addition, a study from the University of Edinburgh created a computer program that could play on the basic model of “I like my women (or men) like I like my coffee.”
Some of our favorite computer-generated examples include: “I like my men like I like my court … superior,” and “I like my women like I like my … camera … ready to flash.”
What idiot named it hereditary depression instead of blue genes.
— Shower Thoughts (@TheWeirdWorld) May 17, 2018
So, why do some people still hate puns despite how funny they are?
According to researchers, a pun is distracting and takes away from the ongoing back and forth of a conversation. Therefore, puns can start to operate like that friend or coworker who doesn’t let you get anything done.
Another theory suggests that people who don’t like puns have controlling personalities.
“If you have an approach to the world that is rules-based, driven by hierarchy and threatened by irreverence, then you’re not going to like puns,” writes John Pollack in his book The Pun Also Rises.
Or what about an ‘over the shoulder boulder holder’?
What idiot named it a bra instead of a booby trap
— Chris Kyle Plant Emoji (@mattytalks) May 19, 2013
We can hate on the pun-haters, but some of the most well-respected people throughout history have spat on puns.
For instance, neurologist Sigmund Freud called them cheap and the former Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States Oliver Wendell Holmes called puns “verbicide.”
what idiot called him alexander graham bell instead of the lord of the rings
— chet porter (@chetporter) July 8, 2013
Puns are easier to make in certain languages compared to others. For instance, languages with a lot of homophones (words that sound the same but have different meanings) are ideal for making a whirlwind of puns.
Although, not all puns rely on homonyms. Sometimes, they are about a literal use of the word and a metaphor (figurative use). For instance, if you’re making a joke about a young man who just joined the Navy you could say that he “sailed through his exams.”
What idiot called it a vet instead of a dogtor
— Gabrielle Epstein (@GabbyEpstein1) January 26, 2017
Then there’s the story about the man who sent ten different puns to friends hoping that at least one would make them laugh. Sadly, no pun in ten did. Get it? No pun intended?
what idiot called it dadbod and not father figure
— Tim Pope (@tpope) May 19, 2015
There are many different types of puns – homophonic and homographic (“Did you hear about the optician who fell into a lens grinder and made a spectacle of himself?”).
Then there’s a combination of the two – homonymic puns: “She was only a rancher’s daughter, but all the horsemen knew her.”
There are compound puns too, like “where do you find giant snails? On the end of giants’ fingers!”
Not to be confused with Expedia
What idiot called it an injury lawyer and not a trip advisor?
— Wheezy Nurse© MSN RN (@WheezyNurse) March 13, 2016
What idiot called it Mufasa's image in the clouds and not simbalism?
— Count Scott (@Reverend_Scott) March 11, 2016
What idiot called it a wall with Mexico and not "Trump's Borderline Erection"
— Poorly Drawn Turtle (@NoTheOtherJohn) March 9, 2016
what idiot called it a moon enthusiast and not a lunatic
— jubjub (@aquafreshXTREME) May 30, 2015
what idiot named it erectile dysfunction instead of ballzheimer's
— mustard (@nice_mustard) December 6, 2013
What idiot names them Jet Skis instead of Boatercycles?? pic.twitter.com/63DdEnVBqU
— Lmao Edit (@LmaoEdit) September 23, 2015
what idiot named it jurassic world instead of parks and rex
— michele (@inthefade) June 13, 2015
what idiot called it the iliad and not troy story
— Pyonta (@Pyonta_Ship4) October 9, 2019