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daffynition

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daffynition

The New Uxbridge English Dictionary by Jon Naismith (HarperCollins, 2008)

Definition:

A playful reinterpretation of an existing word--usually a pun.

See also:

Etymology:

A blend of daffy and definition

Exercises and Observations:

  • Making up daffynitions (which are then collected in the Uxbridge English Dictionary) is a game played on the BBC Radio 4 comedy quiz show I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue. Here are some examples from the program:
    antelope, to run off with your mother’s sister

    boomerang, what you say to frighten a meringue

    brouhaha, a jolly tea party

    Carmelite, a half-hearted Buddhist

    coffee, someone who is coughed upon

    crackerjack, a device for lifting biscuits

    diphthong, to wash an undergarment

    fecund, the one before fird

    Jihad, the cry of a Fundamentalist cowboy

    melancholy, a strangely shaped dog

    negligent, a man who wears lingerie

    pasteurize, too far to see

    posthumous, the art of delivering Greek food by mail

    reincarnation, to be born again as a tin of condensed milk

    relief, what trees do in spring

    scandal, footwear you should be ashamed of

    sentiment, the perfume he intended to buy

    shingle, Sean Connery's definition of a bachelor

    testicle, an amusing exam question

    trampoline, a cleansing fluid for tramps

    zebra, the largest size of support garment

  • Johnny Hart, the creator of the comic strip B.C., has long been a master of the daffynition. Part of the prehistorically contemporary humor of B.C. are the installments that feature Wiley's Dictionary:
    abomination, what a well-allocated nuclear arsenal should conist of

    asset, a small donkey

    detour, what you take to de museum

    hackneyed, why Joe Namath had to get out of football
    (Richard Lederer, Get Thee to a Punnery: An Anthology of Intentional Assaults Upon the English Language. Gibbs Smith, 2006)
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