20 Shakespeare Puns: The Good, the Bad, and the Awful

Carolina Ciucci


Carolina Ciucci is a teacher, writer and reviewer based in the south of Argentina. She hoards books like they’re going out of style. In case of emergency, you can summon her by talking about Ireland, fictional witches, and the Brontë family. Twitter: @carolinabeci

Few authors have had as much influence on the English language as William Shakespeare. Throughout an oeuvre of 37 plays and 154 sonnets, the Bard of Stratford-upon-Avon coined over 1700 new words. His dominion over language also manifested itself in an enviable penchant for puns and wordplay. What better way to celebrate the most beloved author of all time than to gather and create a few puns in his honor? From the truly clever to the truly cringeworthy (I take full responsibility for the latter!), I now present to you a full serving of Shakespeare puns.

  1. “TB or not TB, that is the question.” —House MD
  2. “Brevity is the soul of lingerie.” —Dorothy Parker
  • “Why did Puck cross the road? He saw someone he knew Oberon the other side.” —Reddit user dmorin
  • To WIP is to make less the depth of ink.
  • “Knock knock.
    Who’s there?
    Thisbe who?
    Thisbe your mom. Open the door!” —Further Adventures of Rocketmom
  • Prospero fail.
  • “Just declaim a few lines from Othella
    And they’ll think you’re a hell of a fella.” —Cole Porter
  • It’s April. Winter’s tail is behind us.
  • “Dear actors, eat no onions or garlic, for we are to udder sweet breath.” —Margo Hendricks
  • “Did you hear about the chicken who walked out of a production of Hamlet? He heard somebody threaten to murder most fowl.” —Reddit user dmorin
  • “Knock knock.
    Who’s there?
    Albany who?
    Albaneeding a lot of coffins when this play is over.” —Further Adventures of Rocketmom
  • ‘I heard your sister’s new car got wrecked at the hockey match.’
    ‘Yes. The Puck landed Oberon Hermia.’
  • “Let me not to the marriage of true mimes admit impediments.” —Margo Hendricks
  • The new actor said Macbeth aloud. He’s been Bard.
  • Temptation is the root of all cake.
  • “Now is the winter of our disco tent.” —Margo Hendricks
  • Let me not to the podcasts of true crime admit impediments.
  • By the pricking of my thumbs, something witty this way comes.
  • With gin and water let old wrinkles come.

    Unfortunately, it is my sad duty to announce that, as a result of this post,

    20. “Thou hast been Bard from making Shakespeare puns.” —Unknown

    Want more of the Bard? Check out some of his best quotes and a number of Shakespearean insults. Maybe indulge in one of these awesome pins.