Humanities › English How is a Daffynition Word Used? Share Flipboard Email Print Daffynitions are collected in The New Uxbridge English Dictionary by Jon Naismith (HarperCollins, 2008). English English Grammar An Introduction to Punctuation Writing By Richard Nordquist English and Rhetoric Professor Ph.D., Rhetoric and English, University of Georgia M.A., Modern English and American Literature, University of Leicester B.A., English, State University of New York Dr. Richard Nordquist is professor emeritus of rhetoric and English at Georgia Southern University and the author of several university-level grammar and composition textbooks. our editorial process Richard Nordquist Updated January 14, 2020 Daffynition is an informal term for a playful reinterpretation of an existing word--usually a pun. The term daffynition (a blend of the words daffy and definition) was popularized by the panelists on the comedy program I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue, which has been broadcast on BBC Radio 4 and the World Service since 1972. For the past 60 years, daffynitions have also appeared in the magazine Boy's Life. Examples and Observations Making up daffynitions (which are then collected in the Uxbridge English Dictionary) is a game played on the BBC Radio 4 comedy quiz show I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue. Here are some examples from the program: antelope, to run off with your mother’s sisterboomerang, what you say to frighten a meringuebrouhaha, a jolly tea partyCarmelite, a half-hearted Buddhistcoffee, someone who is coughed uponcrackerjack, a device for lifting biscuitsdiphthong, to wash an undergarmentextent, formerly a canvas homefecund, the one before firdgladiator, an unrepentant cannibalho-hum, the sound made by a vibrating garden toolignorant, to totally disregard an insectJihad, the cry of a Fundamentalist cowboykindred, fear of one's own familylocus, to curse quietlymaximum, a very large mothermelancholy, a strangely shaped dognegligent, a man who wears lingerieoasis, a poker player's cry of delightpasteurize, too far to seeposthumous, the art of delivering Greek food by mailreincarnation, to be born again as a tin of condensed milkrelief, what trees do in springscandal, footwear you should be ashamed ofsentiment, the perfume he intended to buyshingle, Sean Connery's definition of a bachelortesticle, an amusing exam questiontrampoline, a cleansing fluid for trampsvigilante, a very observant aunt.whisky, a bit like a whiskzebra, the largest size of support garment Richard Lederer: Johnny Hart, the creator of the comic strip B.C., has long been a master of the daffynition. Part of the prehistorically contemporary humor of B.C. are the installments that feature Wiley's Dictionary: abomination, what a well-allocated nuclear arsenal should consist of: asset, a small donkeydetour, what you take to de museumhackneyed, why Joe Namath had to get out of football Tony Augarde: Players choose (or are given) words for which they have to make humorous definitions. Often the definitions will use a pun (as in 'boomerang: what you say to frighten a meringue' or 'carrion: British comedy films') but sometimes they will be witty (as in 'alone: in bad company,' or 'cannibal: someone who goes to a restaurant and orders the waiter.'