Jewish World Review May 16, 2002 / 5 Sivan, 5762

Richard Lederer

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Consumer Reports

A bilingual pun
is twice the fun! | Here are some polyglot plays on words that should be understandable, even without much knowledge of a second language:

At an Italian restaurant I don't know whether I'm antipasto or provolone.

Have you heard about the Chinese restaurant that stays open 24 hours a day? It's called Wok Around the Clock.

Have you visited the Jewish section of India's capital city?
It's called Kosher Dehli.

Does that last pun get a standing oy vaytion?

No question about it. Adolph Hitler created a terrible fuhrer.

What do you call a secondhand clothing store in India?
Whose Sari Now?

When Brutus told Julius Caesar that he had eaten a whole squab, Caesar replied, "Et tu, Bruté."

A classics teacher in Maine owns a boat that he's christened "Navego," which is Latin for "I sail" and pronounced, "Now we go."

Mexican weather report: Chili today, hot tamale.

A Mexican visiting the United States goes into a store to buy a pair of socks. He speaks no English, and the clerk doesn't know a word of Spanish.

Through pantomime, the Mexican tries to explain what he needs, without much success. The clerk brings out shoes, then tries sneakers, then slippers, then laces -- all to no avail.

Finally, he brings out a pair of socks, and the Mexican exclaims, "Eso si que es!"

Says the exasperated clerk, "Well, for crying out loud. If you could spell it, why didn't you say so in the first place?"

On a Monday morning, Mayor Ed Koch and Governor Hugh Carey gathered reporters and announced the rejuvenation of the ailing New York City transit system. The New York Daily News reporter covering the story must have thought the situation was too good to be true. His headline read: SICK TRANSIT'S GLORIOUS MONDAY.

Chico Marx once took umbrage upon hearing someone exultantly exclaim, "Eureka!"
Chagrined, Chico shot back, "You doan smella so good yourself!"

JWR contributor Richard Lederer is a language maven. More than a million of his books, which have been Book-of-the-Month Club and Literary Guild alternate selections, are in print. He is the host of "A Way With Words," on KPBS, San Diego Public Radio, and a regular guest on weekend "All Things Considered." He was awarded the Golden Gavel for 2002 by Toastmasters International. Comment by clicking here.


05/09/02: What's in a president's name?
05/03/02: Slang as it is slung
04/25/02: Abstemious words
04/19/02: This Riddle Isn't Letter-Perfect

© 2002, Richard Lederer