On the complex pun watch

Today’s Mother Goose and Grimm, with two seals:

The cartoon turns on the ambiguity of seal — the device or design, or the animal. Then it depends on the existence of the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval:

So it also turns on the ambiguity between the proper name Good Housekeeping (name of the magazine) and the phrase good housekeeping ‘keeping house well’ (with a common noun head). But in the cartoon, the seal on the left is a no-good housekeeper. (I’m guessing that Mike Peters, the cartoonist, intended the seal on the left to be male and the one on the right to be female. Gender roles appear in surprising places.)

The pun has something of the flavor of a phrasal overap portmanteau, but can’t be exactly analyzed that way: it’s essentially no-good housekeeperĀ + Good Housekeeping Seal (of Approval).


3 Responses to “On the complex pun watch”

  1. Another pun from yesterday | Arnold Zwicky's Blog Says:

    […] as complex as yesterday’s Mother Goose and Grimm, but trickier in some ways because you have to supply the words […]

  2. Russell Slam Says:

    Are you related to Hillary Zwicky? I went to High School with her. That is her married name. I enjoy punning and language.. I just discovered your blog. I’ll make return visits
    Russell Slam

    • arnold zwicky Says:

      Usually I’d turn comments like this into e-mail exchanges, but at the moment I’m pleased to have (apparently) genuine appreciations of my blog.

      Zwicky is an unusual family name, but still there are large numbers of us in the U.S. And elsewhere. In Switzerland, we are thick on the ground.

      Almost all of us can trace our family back to Mollis, a village in Canton Glarus, Switzerland. We’re probably all related, if you go far enough back. Your Hillary I don’t know, but then there are thousands of my Zwicky relatives I don’t know.

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