Gnome puns

Following on my posting on gnomes at the Chelsea Flower Show, Andy Rogers remarked on Facebook that he had a garden Noam, and I recalled two Language Log postings from 2010 on gnome puns: one on Gnome Chomsky the Garden Noam (on the Just Say Gnome site); and one on Gnomeland Security (from several sources). But wait, there’s more.

The garden Noam comes in two versions:

  (#1)

Descriptions from the Just Say Gnome site:

[Version I] Standing at just under 17 inches, Gnome Chomsky the Garden Noam clutches his classic books, ‘The Manufacture of Compost’ and ‘Hedgerows not Hegemony’ – with his open right hand ready to hold the political slogan of your choosing.  His clothes represent a relaxed but classy version of regular gnome attire, including: a nice suit jacket-tunic, jeans, boots, traditional gnome cap, and glasses.  Additionally, Noam Gnome stands on a base complete with a carved title – for anyone who may not immediately realize the identity of this handsome and scholarly gnome.

[Version II]  Just over one foot in height, Gnome Chomsky the Garden Noam (II) stands relaxed and confident in his classy gnome clothes and hat and glasses.  Equipped with a stack of twelve books, he’s ready to give your garden or home a big infusion of insightful gnome political perspective.  A solid foundation base complete with a carved title assures that Garden Noam will be well-balanced and helps inform anyone who may not immediately recognize him of the identity of this handsome and scholarly gnome.

And the Gnomeland Security refrigerator magnet:

(#2)

And now from the Just Say Gnome people:

  (#3)

With his hands and fingers arranged in a particular meditation mudra on his knees the ‘Yoga’ Garden Om sits in a posture that leaves him very open to the harmonious energies of the Universe.  This posture is very commonly used by practitioners of East-Indian Yoga and the Yoga Om’s hand mudras in addition to his crossed legs help him to effectively conserve and circulate energies for his pursuit of Enlightenment.  This Garden Om is built  like a ‘living pyramid’ and has a very solid base.

(There’s also a ‘Zen’ Garden Om.)

Then there’s the song “Laughing Gnome” by David Bowie, from Images 1966-1967 (lyrics here):

Was walking down the High Street
When I heard footsteps behind me
And there was a little old man (Hello)
In scarlet and grey, shuffling away (laughter)
Well he trotted back to my house
And he sat beside the telly (Oaah..)
With his tiny hands on his tummy
Chuckling away, laughing all day (laughter)

Oh, I ought to report you to the Gnome office
(Gnome Office)
Yes
(Hahahahaha)

CHORUS
Ha ha ha, hee hee hee
“I’m a laughing Gnome and you can’t catch me”
Ha ha ha, hee hee hee
“I’m a laughing Gnome and you can’t catch me”
Said the laughing Gnome

Well I gave him roasted toadstools and a glass of dandelion wine (Burp, pardon)
Then I put him on a train to Eastbourne
Carried his bag and gave him a fag
(Haven’t you got a light boy?)
“Here, where do you come from?”
(Gnome-man’s land, hahihihi)
“Oh, really?”

In the morning when I woke up
He was sitting on the edge of my bed
With his brother whose name was Fred
He’d bought him along to sing me a song

Right, let’s hear it
Here, what’s that clicking noise?
(That’s Fred, he’s a “metrognome”, haha)

Ha ha ha, hee hee hee
“I’m a laughing Gnome and you don’t catch me”
Ha ha ha, hee hee hee
“I’m a laughing Gnome and you can’t catch me”

(Own up, I’m a gnome, ain’t I right, haha)
“Haven’t you got an ‘ome to go to?”
(No, we’re gnomads)
“Didn’t they teach you to get your hair cut at school?
You look like a rolling gnome.”
(No, not at the London School of Ecognomics)

Now they’re staying up the chimney
And we’re living on caviar and honey (hooray!)
Cause they’re earning me lots of money
Writing comedy prose for radio shows
It’s the-er (what?)
It’s the Gnome service of course

Ha ha ha, hee hee hee
“I’m a laughing Gnome and you don’t catch me”
Ha ha ha, oh, dear me

(Ha ha ha, hee hee hee
“I’m a laughing Gnome and you can’t catch me”
Ha ha ha, hee hee hee
“I’m a laughing Gnome and you can’t catch me”)

And there are several gnome pun sites, for instance this one, offering puns like these:

There’s no place like gnome
Gnome news is good news
Hanging with my gnomies
Waaassssuuuup gnomeboy
Gnome or Mr nice guy
Gnome sweet gnome
Gnome economics
Gnome mans land
Bringing gnome the bacon
Gnome run

Alternatives from films & tv

Gnome Alone
E.T. phone gnome
Sherlock Gnomes
Gnome and Away
Mad Max: Beyond Thunder Gnome
Romancing the Gnome
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Gnome

Alternatives from music

Gnoming me gnoming you
Country Roads Take Me Gnome
The Rolling Gnomes
Knick knack paddywack give the dog a … gnome

A few of the examples — metrognome and gnomad — are phonologically perfect puns, but most are imperfect, phonologically very close or (in two cases) a bit more distant, though preserving the /o/ and a final nasal from /nom/ gnome:

close: /noǝm/, /om/, /hom/, /no/ no or know, /dom/

more distant: /ston/, /bon/

2 Responses to “Gnome puns”

  1. Bob Richmond Says:

    Then there’s the famed aria “O Caro Gnome” from Verdi’s Rigoletto:
    http://classicalmusic.about.com/od/opera/qt/caronomelyrics.htm

    and the capital of Cambodia….

  2. arnold zwicky Says:

    From Michael Palmer on Facebook:

    Oh, great, now I have a Gertrude Lawrence/Marni Nixon earworm.

    Getting to gnome you,
    Getting to gnome all about you.
    Getting to like you,
    Getting to hope you like me.

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