So you are looking for a birthday gift that is as original as it is hilarious. Whatever your reasoning, there is nothing a great pun can't resolve! Birthdays are always a special occasion and finding, making, or signing a card with just the right follow up is a great way to celebrate the day! Today we are going to go over 5 great birthday puns and then showcase the ones we consider to be the best that we have seen so far. So put on your birthday hat, blow out your birthday candles, and come take a seat, because you are invited to our celebration of the top 5 birthday puns out there today.
What Is a Birthday Pun?
So, in case you live under a rock, a birthday pun is simply a wordplay based on birthdays.
Merriam Webster's dictionary defines a pun as:
- the usually humorous use of a word in such a way as to suggest two or more of its meanings or the meaning of another word similar in sound
Meanwhile, Dictionary.com considers a pun to be:
-a joke exploiting the different possible meanings of a word or the fact that there are words that sound alike but have different meanings.
To put it in layman's terms, a pun is wordplay that uses a similar sounding word to convey a different meaning. A pun can occasionally be confused with a joke, but puns retain a special quality as a sub sector of jokes that center on word sounds and double entendre. Lately puns and birthday puns have had a cultural renaissance of sorts because of the inherent comedy that comes from something being so ‘not funny' that it actually turns out to be funny. As with all jokes and comedy throughout history, the laugh is all in the delivery. Anyway, without further adieu, the following are our five picks for the best birthday puns around:
Great Birthday Puns
1. What Did the Pirate Say on His 80th Birthday?
We love this birthday pun because you can almost always follow it with a sweet sentiment reminding the birthday boy or girl that they are definitely not 80 years old. Also it tends to lend itself to great pirate based imagery if you are trying to find a card at the store or are making a card yourself. It is a fun card all around and is sure to have your birthday person shouting ‘Yar' as soon as they open it. It is worth noting that you might need to have the reader read it out loud in order to fully understand the punch line.
2. Why Don’t Owls Ever Exchange Birthday Gifts?
They don't give a hoot.
When you are looking for a birthday pun for that special animal lover, this birthday pun will have your birthday person (h)owling! This is an adorable little number that is simple, universally understandable, and just all around enjoyable.
3. What Do You Call It When You Train a Kid to Use a Toilet on Their Birthday?
A surprise potty!
Finding the right birthday pun for a fellow parent can be as frustrating as trying to teach a child to use the bathroom on their own. For those parents of little ones, this adorable birthday pun offers just the right amount of adorable wordplay with just a small touch of welcome potty humor.
4. Why Don’t Birthday Candles Ever Exercise?
Because they burn out too quickly.
We like this birthday pun because it is easy to follow with mutual acknowledgement of how challenging it can be to work out. Give your friend or loved one an opportunity to take the day off from working out and watching their weight and blame it on the candles.
5. What Did the Cake Say to the Fork?
You want a piece of me?
This birthday pun is so cute! Plus it lends itself to fun imagery if you are looking to design a card of your own. All around, this is a friendly and fun way to celebrate a birthday with someone you love.
Is There a Need for Cards with Birthday Puns?
In our opinion, it is not always essential to make cards that use birthday puns, but cards without them tend to be a missed opportunity. Cards that are too sentimental can take down the mood a little, and cards that say nothing don't offer much to the situation as a whole. We feel like for the brief moments your birthday person is opening and reading a card, enjoying a pun might just add the right touch of enthusiasm and friendly enjoyment.
Types of Birthday Puns
The word ‘pun' in of itself has become a versatile word. If we stick strictly to the definition as provided by Merriam webster or Dictionary.com, a pun has to sound like a different word and play on a dual meaning. We have found in our searches, though, that this can vary and that the word ‘pun' can occasionally be used to describe double entendre meanings as well as unique, portmanteau constructions. Consider the following pun:
Why do people write on birthday cakes?
Because everyone wants to have their cake and read it too.
This in our opinion seems to embody the most traditional use of a pun. Simply subbing out the word eat to read plays on the assonant qualities of the two word. The sentence itself retains the same amount of syllables too, so overall, the final product is the same but different and implies two totally different meanings.
Also called a pun, but a of largely dissimilar construction, is the portmanteau type of pun. Consider:
What Kind of Cake Do You Get for a Chocolate Lover?
Now this joke doesn't even play on a word sounding like another word; rather, it recognizes that the latter portion of the word ‘chocolate' looks and sounds somewhat similar to the word ‘latte.' In this way the joke's author plays not just on the similarity of the two words, but as well on the inherent comedy incumbent of how dissimilar the two words are. In this way, you can secure a laugh just by how ironically unfunny or not funny the joke is. This all falls into the charm of happy birthday puns and their aims as a delightful celebration of humor and joking nature not meant to be taken seriously.
Often confused with the pun, a joke retains the humorous aspect of a pun while playing more toward the defiance of expectation quality that hosts most humorous situations. Consider this joke:
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What Does Every Happy Birthday End With?
The letter Y.
While this joke does use wordplay to convey a joke, it does not actually come from similar sounding words in order to acquire a laugh. Rather this joke simply highlights one's expectation of meaning, where you might assume a birthday's ending would presume to mean the ending of a day, not the ending of the word itself.
Some puns are meant to be read out loud and only work when heard rather than spoken. Consider this one:
What Kind of Cake Do You Get at a Cafeteria?
This one not only plays on the social understanding that cafeteria food is generally not the greatest but also parodies the phrase ‘stomach ache' whose suffix sounds a little like cake when heard aloud. It is a little difficult to understand this joke on paper, but one you read it out loud, you are sure to see a few smiles around the room.
There are so many more ways to articulate humor from cake and birthday-themed wordplay, so we definitely encourage you to get out there and try a few of your own!
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A birthday is a special time of the year and the desire to celebrate it with smiles, laughs, and memories is a tradition worth relishing every year (especially if you are a pickle). Whether you are working on a card of your own, customizing a card you have purchased, or simply looking for a laugh to shake up your daily routine, a pun is a delightful way to share some smiles and levity in your day. If you are looking for great puns, there are numerous resources all across the internet, including websites that will send you puns daily as well as pages that are just a list of compiled puns.
If you are considering writing puns of your own, we love to suggest that you carry around a notepad of your own and write them down as you hear them. These often create some of the best puns, because it is likely that if you made that literary mistake, others may have as well.
The bottom line is there has never been a better time to be a pun-lover than today, and there has never been more resources to write your own puns as there is right now. So why wait? Go out there and be pun-ny yourself!