Learn English – word for the act of butchering a language for the sake of a joke


My friend and I (may or may not be the same one from my other question) were chatting the other day and we came to a discussion about the idiom tit-for-tat.

tit-for-tat (informal)
a tit-for-tat action is something bad that you do to someone because they have done something bad to you (always before noun) Six of the victims died in tit-for-tat attacks. (informal)

In the middle of said discussion, my friend suddenly swerved into a discussion about his new business idea.

tat-for-tit (business model)
I'll ink some stuff on you for boob pics.

Don't worry, I've given him several pieces of my mind on why that business model won't work (such as pics don't pay bills and you can't draw anything to save your life). My actual question is:

Is there a word/phrase for either:

  • an act of butchering a language for the sake of a joke


  • a person who does said act

Best Answer

I think you may be referring to a pun:

  • play on words, sometimes on different senses of the same word and sometimes on the similar sense or sound of different words.

  • (Literary & Literary Critical Terms) the use of words or phrases to exploit ambiguities and innuendoes in their meaning, usually for humorous effect; a play on words. An example is: "Ben Battle was a soldier bold, And used to war's alarms: But a cannonball took off his legs, So he laid down his arms." (Thomas Hood)

Source: www.thefreedictionary.com