A double entendre (, , ; ) is a figure of speech or a particular way of wording that is devised to be understood in either of two ways, having a double meaning. Typically one of the interpretations is rather obvious whereas the other is more subtle. The more subtle of the interpretations may convey a message that would be socially awkward, sexually suggestive or offensive to state directly. (The Oxford English Dictionary describes a double entendre as being used to “convey an indelicate meaning”, whilst Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English defines it as “a word or phrase that may be understood in two different ways, one of which is often sexual”) A double entendre may exploit puns to convey the second meaning. Double entendres generally rely on multiple meanings of words, or different interpretations of the same primary meaning. They often exploit ambiguity and may be used to introduce it deliberately in a text. Sometimes a homophone (i.e. another word which sounds the same) can be used as a pun. When three or more meanings have been constructed, this is known as a “triple entendre”, etc.
by Travis Brandon | Sep 11, 2021 | Uncategorized