This use of language is often referred to as “wit,” or “wordplay.” I don’t care what you call it, however, I just enjoy it. Recently, I ran across a reference to the word “lexophile,” which is defined as “… someone who loves to use words uniquely. e.g. ‘to write with a broken pencil is pointless.’” As I love this sort of clever use of words, I looked into further into this kind of thing. While doing that, I found a reference to the paraprosdokian, which is a figure of speech in which the latter part of a sentence or phrase is surprising or unexpectedin a way that causes the reader or listener to reframe or reinterpret the first part, often humorously. As I continued to “research” these ideas, I ran across numerous examples of both, so I thought I’d post some.
A backward poet writes inverse.
A bicycle can’t stand alone; it is two tired.
A boiled egg is hard to beat.
A calendar’s days are numbered.
A chicken crossing the road: poultry in motion.
A dentist and a manicurist married. They fought tooth and nail.
A dyslexic man walks into a bra.
A grenade fell onto a kitchen floor in France resulting in Linoleum Blownapart.
A lot of money is tainted: ‘Taint yours, and ‘taint mine.
A thief fell and broke his leg in wet cement. He became a hardened criminal.
A thief who stole a calendar got twelve months.
A will is a dead giveaway.
Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana.
In a democracy it's your vote that counts; in feudalism, it's your Count that votes.
If you don't pay your exorcist, you can get repossessed.
With her marriage, she got a new name and a dress.
Show me a piano falling down a mine shaft and I'll show you A-flat miner.
When a clock is hungry it goes back four seconds.
The guy who fell onto an upholstery machine was fully recovered.
You are stuck with your debt if you can't budge it.
Local Area Network in Australia: The LAN down under.
He broke into song because he couldn't find the key.
He had a photographic memory which was never developed.
A plateau is a high form of flattery.
The short fortuneteller who escaped from prison is a small medium at large.
Those who get too big for their britches will be exposed in the end.
When you've seen one shopping center, you've seen a mall.
If you jump off a Paris bridge, you are in Seine.
When she saw her first strands of gray hair, she thought she'd dye.
Bakers trade bread recipes on a knead to know basis.
Santa's helpers are subordinate clauses.
Where there’s a will, I want to be in it.
The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it is still on my list.
If I agree with you, we’d both be wrong.
We never really grow up, we only learn how to act in public.
War does not determine who is right – only who is left.
Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism. To steal from many is research.
I didn’t say it was your fault, I said I was blaming you.
In filling out an application, where it says, “In case of Emergency, notify:” I put “DOCTOR.”
Women will never be equal to men until they can walk down the street with a bald head and a beer gut, and still think they are sexy.
You do not need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to skydive twice.
I used to be indecisive. Now I’m not so sure.
To be sure of hitting the target, shoot first and call whatever you hit the target.
Going to church doesn’t make you a Christian any more than standing in the garage makes you a car.
You’re never too old to learn something stupid.
I’m supposed to respect my elders, but it’s getting harder and harder for me to find one now.
I asked God for a bike, but I know God doesn’t work that way. So, I stole a bike and asked for forgiveness.
Do not argue with an idiot. He will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience.
Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.
We never really grow up; we only learn how to act in public.
The evening news is where they begin with “Good evening,” and then proceed to tell you why it isn’t.
That’s probably quite enough of this sort of thing for now, but I did find these amusing and hope others will, as well. (I do have more examples.) Who knows, I may just do this again sometime. If you know of (or think of) examples I haven’t used, please send them to me. I’m sure to enjoy them, and I may pass them along for others to enjoy.