Got Some Examples of Clever Wordplay Like This?

Okay, a lighter subject, given that it’s still summer—for a few more weeks anyway—and I’m not feeling so serious today… 🙂

And that’s probably because I just back from vacation not long ago. Escaped to the blessed cool of New England for a few weeks—a nice respite from Atlanta’s “95’s” dog days (i.e., both the average high temps and humidity—yuck).

Anyway, one day, I found myself one day wandering around Vermont’s cool and compact capitol of Montpelier, and for an afternoon pick-me-up, wandered into this funky coffee shop called Capitol Grounds.

I looked up at their chalked menu board of energy-lifting libations, read it, read it again, and smiled big. While obviously, their store name played on their location in the shadow of the capitol building, the wordplay didn’t stop there.

Check out this picture of their menu board, and note the names up top, of their four different sizes of coffees.


I LOVE it. And if you’re a true word person, I’m guessing it’ll tickle you, too. When was the last time you saw a quadruple double-entrendre?

I’m sure you’ve got some of your own. Pictures are cool, but not necessary if you don’t have them. So, share your examples of the fruits of clever wordsmiths far and wide. Yes, a lighter post, but stuff like this gets our creative wells primed and pumping. It’s all about ideas.

Seen some cool wordplay like this, or on billboards or signage?

Seen a smart, snappy piece of commercial writing—ad, direct mail piece, web site, etc.?


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Here’s the image that went with Cathy Miller’s comment below. I can’t figure out how to insert an image into a comment, so I’m just going to add it to the end of my post here…


6 replies
  1. Lori
    Lori says:

    Coffee shops are the best at wordplay. 🙂

    My local coffee shop — Steel City Coffeehouse — had a drink that was a decaf latte with skim milk. They called it Why Bother? Apparently, no one did. It disappeared from the new menu.

    Their hummus wrap is the Hippie Wrap. The spicy chicken wrap: Buffalohemian Wrapsody. They have Under the Bridge St. Chili (they’re located on Bridge Street), Cheech or Chong Salad (chicken or beef option), Julius Erving Caesar Salad, and Dark Side of the Moon espresso chocolate mousse.

    It’s a joy just to read the menu. 🙂

  2. Cathy Miller
    Cathy Miller says:

    I frequently drive by this propane gas company’s sign and think it’s clever. (not sure if your site takes HTML so I added the text from the sign). 🙂

    PB: See the image above at the end of the post!

  3. Katherine Swarts
    Katherine Swarts says:

    The Sweet Tomatoes salad-bar restaurant chain is great at this sort of thing:

    -Placeholder cards for their tables read “I’ll be RIPE back” on one side and “See you next THYME” on the other.
    -Promotional announcements for their specials and weekly features have included such titles as “Hack-A-Mac” (spelled out in macaroni noodles) for pasta dishes; “For Sprouts Only” on their children’s menu; and “Taste the World” for Asian-dishes month.

  4. Linda Tenney
    Linda Tenney says:

    When I was documenting my ideas for a cat sanctuary I wanted to build (think cat shelter meets Starbucks), I came up with this signage for the restroom corridor:

    Over the doorway: Litter Boxes
    Men’s room: Tomcats
    Women’s room: Pussycats

  5. Peter Bowerman
    Peter Bowerman says:

    Great stuff, everyone!

    Love the coffee-shop menu, Lori! And yeah, what is it about the clever naming going on in coffee shops – must be a whole lot of frustrated creatives waiting to get their big break…;)

    Good one, Cathy, though I wonder how many people under the age of 40 even get that particular play on words, given that the old Maurice Chevalier song came out in (I just checked it…) in 1957! Nowadays, sadly, to those NOT “in the know,” that same song title might just sound a bit creepy….;)

    And thanks, Katherine, I forgot about that one. There’s a Sweet Tomatoes pretty close to me, and I’ve always gotten a kick out of those little cards. They’re a bit on the “groaner” side, but, nonetheless, I always appreciate a business that has a (campy) sense of humor.

    Thanks Linda! Talk about creative… 😉 Fun stuff. And in the right neighborhood, with the right surrounding demographics, I think your idea would be a winner. Just need to find that right place…;)

    Anyone else?

  6. Peter Bowerman
    Peter Bowerman says:

    Reading a creative brief for a messaging campaign for a not-for-profit, and listed under their current tools was:

    Fundraising software: Raiser’s Edge

    How clever is that? 😉

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