Oh what pun! — Buzz saws, pineapples and zebras

Maury Thompson
2 min readMay 18, 2022


This editor had a sharp wit.

“Always show their teeth — Buzz saws.” — The Granville Sentinel, Nov. 23, 1891

This editor was pining for a pun.

“‘The search is fruitless,’ sighed the man as he looked in vain for pineapples on a pine tree.” — The Morning Star of Glens Falls, Aug. 22, 1888

This editor may have reported on too many local foot races.

“A race between a zebra and an ostrich, held in Zanzibar recently, the prize was given the rider of the zebra, although the ostrich came in a hundred yards ahead. The zebra’s jockey claimed that his rival won on a fowl, and the judge sustained him.” — The Morning Star, Oct. 1,1888

The italics makes the pun in this bit of newspaper industry wit.

“A man of the World — Mr. Pulitzer.” — The Granville Sentinel, Nov.13,1891

These puns are music to a humorist’s ears.

“The centenarian may not be a musician, but it is certain that he is beating time.” — The Morning Star, July 31, 1888

“The musician is a great record breaker. He is always beating time.” — The Morning Star, Aug. 7, 1888

“A false chord of music is a discord. A false cord of wood is about seven-eights.” — The Morning Star, July 31, 1888

A few more assorted puns collected from northern New York historic newspapers:

“The dressmaker, like the suburban farmer, makes money on the out-skirts.” — The Morning Star, June 28,1888

“Friend-ship is the best kind of a craft to sail in over the sea of adversity.” — The Morning Star, April 11, 1888

“The man who sells honey is on a beeline to success.” — The Granville Sentinel, Sept. 24, 1891

“A man may be a bad egg, but he’s alright till he’s broke.” — The Morning Star, Sept. 11, 1888

Click here to read my most recent previous Oh What Pun! post.



Maury Thompson

Freelance history writer and documentary film producer from Ticonderoga, NY