Friday, April 20, 2012

美豚? Pun fun!

Work's been so busy lately that I've barely had time to think, so everything I try to post gets stuck in draft mode! But I want to share a neat pun that we're enjoying today at work.

A colleague is wearing this:

He'd been told it was a pun but had no idea what it meant. I got that the kanji were 美しい and 豚 ("beautiful pig") but, though the pig certainly is comely, I couldn't figure how it was a pun. I thought it must have something to do with the on'yomi, the Chinese readings—as puns probably often do, since a single 音 reading can be shared by many kanji and have many meanings. 豚 was probably トン (TON) or ドン (DON); 美 maybe ミ (MI) or ビ (BI). But...huh?

Finally, a fashion-conscious colleague pointed out that that pattern on the beautiful pig is classic to a specific designer—Louis Vuitton. So that's it: 美豚, ビトン, BI-TON, the Japanese pronunciation of "Vuitton".

Google searching suggests that that pun is big in Japan. So, I'm a little slow on the uptake, but now we're all cracking up about it. And I require that shirt!

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