Chinese Puns

Updated on August 28, 2017 in Learn Chinese
1 on July 3, 2017

“A bicycle can’t stand on his own because it is two-tired.” You must’ve heard of many puns in English, and you may also “create” puns by playing with the words. Puns can bring fun to the language and in people’s daily lives, too. Not surprisingly, there are also puns in Chinese language, since Chinese words are easy to meet another word with same or similar sounds.  

What are puns? In Chinese language, pun, or double-entendre (双关, Shuāngguān) is a type of rhetoric that expresses both surface and extensive meanings. A pun can have several meanings with the same word or similar sound. One of the common types of puns is homophonic puns, which is 音译双关 (yīn yì shuāng guān) or 谐音 (xiéyīn) in English.  Homophonic puns mean that the puns have different meanings with a different word, but similar sounds.

Some of the puns are used as jokes, so we can see more and more new-created puns in our daily lives. Some Chinese puns appear in traditional literature, and lots of them are involving people’s daily lives like advertisements and TV. So, let’s take a look at some of the easy-to-understand Chinese puns examples!

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