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Double entendre

Double entendre is a figure of speech similar to the pun, in which a spoken phrase can be understood in either of two ways. The first, literal meaning is an innocent one, while the second meaning is indecently sexual. Although a French term, the French generally say double entente or double sens for such phrases.

For example, an aspiring comedian may, when ordering a drink at a bar, say "Mine's a large one." The innocent meaning is that his usual drink is served in a large measure, while the hidden meaning implies that he has a large penis.

There is a cartoon strip in the English comic book Viz entitled Finbarr Saunders and his Double Entendres, about a youngster who enjoys this form of joke. When Finbarr detects a double entendre, the cartoonist renders his sniggers as "Fnarr fnarr!", a usage that has entered English slang.

The cartoon characters Beavis and Butthead frequently noted double entrendres of the most sophomoric kind with such comments as, "He said 'wood', huh-huh".

See also Spoonerism.

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