Words nearby double entendre
MORE ABOUT DOUBLE ENTENDRE
What else does double entendre mean?
A double entendre is a word or expression that can be understood in two ways, especially when one meaning is risqué. If you’ve ever cracked a that’s what she said joke, you’ve created a double entendre.
Where does double entendre come from?
In French in the 16th century, double entendre was an expression meaning “double understanding” or “ambiguity”—something that could be construed in two ways.
Its modern French form is double entente (like double intent), but double entendre became fixed in English at least since it was used by John Dryden in his 1673 comedic play Marriage à la Mode.
Early uses of double entendre in French and English were used to call out duplicitous or evasive language meant to deceive someone, wriggle out of the long arm of the law, or deviate from Christian virtues in some way. One early French author even warned that “girls must be firmly on their guard against double entendres,” as they might “poison these poor, sweet, delicate girls.”
By the early 19th century, double entendre honed in on its wordplay sense, especially sexual innuendo.
How is double entendre used in real life?
Double entendre usually describes sexually suggestive wordplay ranging from Shakespeare’s use of sword to pun on “penis” throughout his 1590s Romeo and Juliet to rockers Led Zeppelin’s use of squeeze my lemon for “sexual stimulation” in their “Lemon Song” in 1969.
Less commonly, double entendre can also describe other wordplay, such as life’s a beach.
While double entendres themselves aren’t usually appropriate in a professional context, the expression double entendre is considered a learned, if not uncommon, term.
More examples of double entendre:
“Showcasing uncanny vintage wit, Cella Blue fashions a double entendre out of an intruder rifling through her dresser with anonymous sex in standout cut ‘Who’s That in My Drawers?’”
—Kevin Curtin, The Austin Chronicle, June, 2018
This content is not meant to be a formal definition of this term. Rather, it is an informal summary that seeks to provide supplemental information and context important to know or keep in mind about the term’s history, meaning, and usage.
How to use double entendre in a sentence
And Ollie says, ‘Oh, I see, well, let me have two double vodka martinis.’The Story Behind Lee Marvin’s Liberty Valance Smile|Robert Ward|January 3, 2015|DAILY BEAST
A few weeks after returning from England, I was trolling the dairy section and came across the Cotswold Double Gloucester.Biking With the Bard|Kara Cutruzzula|December 28, 2014|DAILY BEAST
But the entendre and innuendo permeates the rest of the series—often innocently, but sometimes far more blatantly.‘Mozart in the Jungle’: Inside Amazon’s Brave New World of Sex, Drugs, and Classical Music|Kevin Fallon|December 23, 2014|DAILY BEAST
He went on to say that even such double horrors had never kept cops from continuing on.Two Cops ‘Assassinated’ in Brooklyn|Michael Daly|December 21, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Faced with the loss of middle class voters, the administration seems determined to double down on its current coalition.Time to Bring Back the Truman Democrats|Joel Kotkin|December 21, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Under the one-sixth they appear as slender, highly refractive fibers with double contour and, often, curled or split ends.A Manual of Clinical Diagnosis|James Campbell Todd
In treble, second and fourth, the first change is a dodge behind; and the second time the treble leads, there's a double Bob.Tintinnalogia, or, the Art of Ringing|Richard Duckworth and Fabian Stedman
All things are double, one against another, and he hath made nothing defective.The Bible, Douay-Rheims Version|Various
The way was under a double row of tall trees, which met at the top and formed a green arch over our heads.Music-Study in Germany|Amy Fay
The wretched young man persistently exercises his right of crying "Banco," and so practically going double or quits each time.The Pit Town Coronet, Volume I (of 3)|Charles James Wills
British Dictionary definitions for double entendre
Word Origin for double entendre
Cultural definitions for double entendre
A word or expression that has two different meanings (in French, double-entendre means “double meaning”), one of which is often bawdy or indelicate. A double-entendre is found in this sentence: “A nudist camp is simply a place where men and women meet to air their differences.”