About This Site

Figaro rips the innards out of things people say and reveals the rhetorical tricks and pratfalls. For terms and definitions, click here.
(What are figures of speech?)
Ask Figaro a question!

This form does not yet contain any fields.

    « What’s a Natoma Worth? | Main | Izzums Feewing Bwue? »

    Wants a Punning Dime

    A loyal Figarist, Arthur, inquired on Ask Figaro why Figaro had not yet written about the punned cliche called the Feghoot. Although Figaro once proudly wrote a magazine headline that read “Hale, Britannia? Britannia Waives the Rules,” he confesses to having been ignorant of the term “Feghoot.”

    It seems that the Feghoot is an eponym for Ferdinand Feghoot, a science fiction character invented in the mid-1950s by Reginald Bretnor under the gnome de plume Grendel Briarton. Feghoot went on short intergalactic missions for the Society for the Aesthetic Re-Arrangement of History, with each shaggy-dog tale ending in an outrageous, cliché-based pun. Time Magazine carried a great Feghoot headline in 1971, when China became a member of the U.N.: “China in the Bull Shop.”

    While the Feghoot technically includes a very short story, we hereby declare that this species of punchline qualifies as a figure of speech under that name. You may find this hard to swallow; but Figaro is the bastard of his own ptomaine.

    PrintView Printer Friendly Version

    EmailEmail Article to Friend

    Reader Comments (4)

    I remember reading "Through Time and Space with Ferdinand Feghoot" in some old sci-fi anthologies when I was in high school. Those are some of the funniest stories I have ever read. Thanks, Figaro, for bringing back pleasant memories. Maybe I'll buy a couple of copies of the collected adventures, and give one to my son, who introduced me to your book.
    March 10, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMark Andersen
    Ouch. That pun actually made my brain malfunction for a moment.
    March 10, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterd junior
    Thanks to Arthur for pointing the Feghoots my way. I'd read a few of the stories myself when I was in high school, but don't have your memory, Mark; I'd forgotten about them.

    It's also nice to hear when kids give Thank You for Arguing to Parents. That seems to be happening a lot, lately. Let the arguing commence!

    March 11, 2010 | Registered CommenterFigaro
    D Jr., I'm always happy to cause brain malfunction in any overfunctioning brain.
    March 11, 2010 | Registered CommenterFigaro

    PostPost a New Comment

    Enter your information below to add a new comment.

    My response is on my own website »
    Author Email (optional):
    Author URL (optional):
    All HTML will be escaped. Hyperlinks will be created for URLs automatically.