There must be a name for this kind of humour...

… but I sure don’t know it. What do you call it when there is an ironic pairing between a plausible sounding name and a book, or occupation, or movie, etc. Some examples -

‘Here, promoting his auto-biography entitled “Fight with a Tiger” is author Claude Ball.’

‘The Myth of Causality’ by Noah Parent-Riesen

‘The law firm of Dewey, Cheatham and Howe’ - from the end credits of ‘Car Talk’, which abounds in this style of humour.

Further examples welcome, but is there a term for this? Please help.

Hmm. It involves puns, but also involves onomastics, the field of names. How about Punomastics?

Okay, is the first one supposed to be “clawed ball”?

Yes - it only works if you pronounce ‘Claude’ the English way, so it sounds like ‘clawed ball’.

No idea what to call it. Other examples, though:

Down to the Outhouse, by Willie Makeit
Holes in the Mattress, by Mister Completely
Under the Grandstand, by Seymour Butts

We talking Junior High here.

A Tom Swifty?

For what it’s worth, Boy’s Life magazine seems to have a separate category for “A Book Never Written” jokes.

Elementary school, actually…
The Yellow River, by I. P. Freely
Spots On The Wall, by Hoo Flung Dung
The Russian’s Revenge, by Ivan Bitertitzoff

Still no help on a name for the type, but I did a search on “I.P. Freely” and got this hit. Check out the Prank Calls section.

If it has a name I’m sure it’s nothing fancy with latin etc. I would just call it a rusty bedsprings joke, but that’s just me.

Agreed. I read several books of these in elementary school. Here’s one-

“I Was a Streaker,” by Running Bear [probably should’ve been called "I Was a Native American Streaker]

I remember a really awkward, bad one that I need to have explained to me. It was something like “I Just Missed Her,” by Celeste Chance. Apparently the name needed to be pronounced 's-your-last-chance.

Well, it’s the odd thing - Tom Swifties get a name all to themselves, as do Mondegreens, but as far as I can tell, there is no specific name for the deliberate or accidental pairing of proper nouns and contexts with a punning, amusing or ironic connotation. It now falls to us to coin such a term; Perhaps a malaproper noun. I leave the floor open to further suggestions.

I had a prof in University who delighted in collecting real life pairings that struck him as funny. Among them - Earl Crawl, who was the principal dancer for the National Ballet of Canada for many years; a fire chief in Québec whose name was Normand Arsenault; singer whom he had met whose last name was Kroker, and so on.

It’s a kind of pun, and maybe it doesn’t get its own name because it’s unsophisticated. Maybe a punonym?

Good candidate. But before we get too far down the new name trail, I believe we should consider some close ties to other variations on the theme:

  1. Those things like Ella Fitzgerald marrying Darth Vader, etc.
  2. Something MAD Magazine had where a parking lot attendant was named Rex Karz, etc.
  3. Another MAD thing with college team nicknames like Tulane Highways and Wisc Brooms, etc.
  4. name some more

I think the same punning feature figures in all of them and perhaps there’s a more general term at play.

Yes, the punning is a prominent feature, but to me, it’s the combination of a context and a plausible name that makes it special.

For example, there’s nothing particularly noteworthy about the name Les Paine until he becomes a dentist…

“Robert Plant’s new book about gardening is certainly taking off” said horticulturalist Phil O. D’Endron in a recent interview.

Marley23: I take your point about it’s lack of sophistication, but that’s exactly how I like my humour. I like Punonym.

Current thread title: Who Hates Pam Spray?

Know anybody with the surname Spray?

How about Pam Flett?

Marie Zoniz
Justin Case
Will Barrow
Steve Adore
Tara Manuen
Mac Snowdiff
Jim Shortz
Louis Stulz

Illustrated by Betty Duzzint

Tragedy on the Cliff by Eileen Dover
How to Collect Butterflies by Annette Andajar
Book of Etiquette by Hugo First
My Life As A Lumberjack by Tim Burr
Native American Weaponry by Tom A. Hawk
How To Finish Wood by Lynn C. Doyle
French Windows by Pattie O’Dors
Alcohol and Gambling by Rex Holmes
Pleasing the Public by Lois Carmen Denominator
Traveling Light by Freda Wanda Atwill
Working Out by Jim Nasium

Oh, stupid jokes done well are great. I’m just saying that might be why they don’t have a name. But if you like punonym, run with it (just give me credit :p).

These are usually called “Batty Books”

Google search returns 1440 hits, some are lists of puns, some are books by authors named Batty.

Tom Wolfe always gives the law firms in his books ridiculous names, like, “Tripp, Snayer and Billings,” “Fogg, Nackers, Rendering and Lean” and “Crotalus, Cobran, Adder and Krate.”

This alludes to the also-famous (and more obvious) “Dewey, Cheatem, and Howe” of Car Talk fame (not to mention all their other “crazy credits” at the end of each show).