This essay will examine fourteen selected clips of double entendres, also referred to as sexual innuendoes, from English-speaking films and TV-shows between the 1960s/1970s and 2010s. The aim was to determine whether the double entendres’ linguistic similarities and differences could be connected to generational differences and/or cultural differences between the United Kingdom and the United States.
The linguistic focus of this study is mainly semantics and pragmatics. It includes the semantic aspects of meaning, ambiguity and puns in terms of homonyms, homophones, homographs, polysemes, oronyms, metaphors and, the pragmatic aspects regarding the generation and recovery of implicatures by audiences.
The results have shown that many of the double entendres’ similarities are connected to linguistic aspects. For instance, both semantic meaning and pragmatics aspects, such as context, influence the double entendres. However, the result reveals differences in the double entendres’ degree of explicitness; such differences may be connected to generational changes and cultural variation. The study has also indicated that the usage of double entendres as a comedic device has become outmoded and, in some cases, politically inappropriate due to changes in the social climate.
2016. , 47 p.