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Jun 05

Secret Comedy Writing Technique – Daffynitions

The next post in my Secret Comedy Writing Technique deals with Daffynitions. I actually only heard of this technique a couple of years ago.

The term Daffynitions comes from the word daffy meaning “a little crazy” and the word “definition”, which obviously provides the meaning or a word. Hence we get the word Daffynitions. The term itself is a pun format that involves the reinterpretation of a word based upon the fact that it sounds like another word or combination of words. Making up daffynitions was popular on the BBC radio show I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue.

Some examples include the following:

pasteurise: Too far to see. (past your eyes)
dilate: live long (die late)
burglarize: What a crook sees with (burglar eyes)
dynamite: To take a flea out to dinner. (dine-a-mite)

Whilst I can’t really imagine this technique working on a stand-up comedy stage, it might be a useful addition to a humorous speech or presentation. It viurtually borders on Christmasx cracker or lollipop stick humour. But as I am always fond of saying, you don’t have to use any of these techniques in order to be successful with humour.

I’m fond of saying that because when you have a conversation with friends, you don’t stop and think about which technique to use.You just say something and it generates a response. The point of this series is to help arm you with some useful techniques which you might be able to add to a speech in order to add a bit of colour. If you can find a useful place for a daffynition, then try it out.