paronomasia paronomasia
 pa-ro-no-ma'-si-a from Gk. para, "alongside" and onomos, "name"
("to alter slightly in naming")
adnominatio or agnominatio, allusio
the nicknamer, allusion

  Using words that sound alike but that differ in meaning (punning).

The Ad Herennium author further specifies that this is brought about through various kinds of metaplasm.


A jesting friar punned upon the name of the famous humanist Erasmus, "Errans mus" [erring mouse]. —Puttenham

A pun is its own reword.

For a plethora of puns (of mixed quality, but plenty of quantity), see this internet pun resource.

Related Figures Related Topics of Invention

Sources: Ad Herennium 4.21-22.29-31 ("adnominatio"); Rutil. 1.3; Isidore 1.36.12; Fraunce (1588) 1.24 ("paronomasia," "agnominatio," "allusion"); Putt. (1589) 212 ("prosonomasia," "the nicknamer"); Day 1599 86 ("prosonomasia"); Hoskins (1599)15

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Gideon O. Burton, Brigham Young University
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