“No pun intended” (Meaning and Use)

At first glance, “no pun intended” implies that, while the speaker may have unwittingly made a play on words, it was entirely unintentional.

Another example is when a speaker wants to separate himself from a horrible pun that didn’t go over well. Simply said, if someone makes a joke that everyone moans at, the speaker can humbly declare, “no pun meant,” and backtrack a little.

Some may feel it’s a “cop-out” so they don’t have to own up to the bad joke.

What is a Pun?

Language is an enthralling beast. This is why we put so much effort into creating this site, and why you’ve come to read these posts.

One of the fascinating aspects of language is how certain words may have several meanings. Alternatively, distinct words with different spellings might sound practically identical at times.

A pun is a play on words in which one word is substituted for another, resulting in a ridiculous statement.

Take for an example:

Where should I do the dare?”

“Over here, dare,” says the narrator. “I don’t give a damn.”

The speaker has created a pun in the preceding line by using the similarity in pronunciation between the words “dare” and “there.”

Puns, on the other hand, are frequently regarded with derision, particularly among the younger generation. Puns are regarded as the easiest jokes to produce, or “low-hanging fruit,” because they don’t take remarkable wit or intelligence to come up with. This explains why many people moan when they hear a “dad joke,” and it should also explain why some individuals would gladly separate themselves from a terrible pun.

Where to use “No Pun Intended”

Consider in the first above scenario, in which someone does not intend to produce a pun but recognizes that what they have just said involves a play on words of some type.

“Would you like me to date that tiny man over there?” No pun meant, there’s a tiny probability of that occurring.”

The speaker in this case did not intend to make a pun. They wanted to say “slim chance,” but they also happened to be talking about a tiny guy in the same line.

As a result, after the speaker noticed the parallelism, they attempted to correct the record by ending their remark with “no pun intended.”

On the other side, this is how it would appear if someone made a joke, had a cold response, and then attempted to disassociate themselves from the joke thereafter.