A while back one of my co-workers bought the Oscar De La Hoya - Felix Trinidad fight on Pay-Per-View (the one where De La Hoya got screwed by the judges). So anyway, the undercard featured two women boxers, one of whom had just posed for Playboy. So HBO shows the cover of the magazine, and the commentators are talking about the issue, and then they show her in her dressing room shadow boxing. And after talking for a good five minutes about this upcoming spread, one of the commentators says,

"And if you think she looks great now, wait until you see her box!"

The other guy picks up on it immediately, but instead of saying something to quickly remove the ambiguity, he says...

"I don't think my colleague meant that the way some of you might have thought he meant it."

After about ten seconds of silence, the first guy finally gets it, and starts doing that fake, embarrassed laugh like "Ho ho, that's a good one!" I was half waiting for him to do a Dick Dietrick impression and say "Oh, people, no!"

To give a slightly more concise definition, it comes from the French "entendre" meaning "to hear". In other words, it is a statement that can be interpreted in two different ways, one of which is usually a sexual innuendo.

Politically-Incorrect Joke for Brits

This really attractive woman walks into a cocktail bar and asks for a 'double entendre', so the bartender gives her one.

The expression double entendre is not used in French: it was used in the seventeenth century (and borrowed into English by 1673), but the modern form is double entente, or more fully mot à double entente 'word of double hearing' (or 'understanding').

But be warned: Fowler says attempting to "correct" it (in English) to double entente suggests more an ignorance of English than a knowledge of French.

As the second word entendre can't easily be pronounced in a native English way, I'd recommend using the French pronunciation for the first word as well. It's the French word double, not the English one, for what it's worth.

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