Is there a term for this kind of punning word play?
September 27, 2012 6:47 PM   Subscribe

Attention, language types of MetaFilter: The Russian word poshlost' is roughly equivalent to the English "banality" or "self-satisfied mediocrity." Vladimir Nabokov wittily rendered it as poshlust ("posh" + "lust"), and described it as "not only the obviously trashy but mainly the falsely important, the falsely beautiful, the falsely clever, the falsely attractive." Is there a specific term for this kind of word play?

Obviously, it's a pun, but I'm looking for something more specific or technical than that.

I'm familiar with the term "eggcorn," and that seems almost right, but not quite.

Any ideas?
posted by easy, lucky, free to Writing & Language (4 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Macaronic pun.
posted by yoink at 6:49 PM on September 27, 2012

Yes, macaronic, as Nabokov himself hints, though I've also heard them described more plainly as bilingual or polylingual puns, usually in connection with Joyce's Finnegans Wake, which contains oh so many.
posted by holgate at 6:55 PM on September 27, 2012 [1 favorite]

It should be noted that in modern colloquial Russian poshlost' is more commonly used to describe something crass or vulgar, rather than aesthetically bankrupt.
posted by Nomyte at 8:54 PM on September 27, 2012

Hong Kong-based G.O.D. (Goods of Desire) is patterned off of the Cantonese 住好的 jyu hou di...think of how you pronounce "gee oh dee"...which means "to live better". Their favorite slogan is Delay No More, which sounds like 屌你老母 diu nei loh moh, "fuck your mother."

posted by Hollywood Upstairs Medical College at 10:54 PM on September 27, 2012

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