A Dictionary of the English Language
                        A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson
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Pun (noun)

View Scan · View Transcription · from page 1602

View Scan · View Transcription · from page 1602

Pun. n.s. [I know not whence this word is to be deduced: to pun, is to grind or beat with a pestle; can pun mean an empty sound, like that of a mortar beaten, as clench, the old word for pun seems only a corruption of clink?] An equivocation; a quibble; an expression where a word has at once different meanings.

It is not the word, but the figure that appears on the medal: cuniculus may stand for a rabbit or a mine, but the picture of a rabbit is not the picture of a mine: a pun can be no more engraven, than it can be translated. Addison.

But fill their purse, our poet's work is done,
Alike to them by pathos, or by pun.
Pope.

Sources: Addison, Joseph (408) · Pope, Alexander (393)

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Cite this page: Johnson, Samuel. "Pun (noun)." A Dictionary of the English Language: A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson. Edited by Brandi Besalke. Last modified: November 12, 2011. http://johnsonsdictionaryonline.com/?p=8048.


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