Friday, November 30, 2007


Double Entendres

The authors of the following passages intended them to be understood in only one way. Nevertheless, unintended meanings obtrude themselves, in my imagination at least.

Charles Dickens, Martin Chuzzlewit, chapter 24:
She touched his organ, and from that bright epoch even it, the old companion of his happiest hours, incapable as he had thought of elevation, began a new and deified existence.
George Eliot, The Mill on the Floss, Book I, chapter 7:
...Mrs. Glegg had doubtless the glossiest and crispest brown curls in her drawers...
Mary Baker Eddy, quoted by Garry Wills in Certain Trumpets (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1994), p. 178:
Joy in every belfry bell —
Joy for the captive! sound it long!
Ye who have wept four-score can tell
The holy meaning of their dong.
One of the two Letters to Cynthia in Christopher Morley's Mince Pie (1919) is entitled In Praise of Boobs.

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