I love puns, as you may know. This morning I spotted one on Twitter:
What did the Japanese person say about British food? 馬そう。 –
Reading phonetically, うまそう or “uma sou“, it would seem like the Japanese person is simply saying that British food looks delicious. The joke is in the kanji.
そう/sou means “looks like”. うま/uma can mean delicious. But the kanji 馬 means horse.
You may have heard about horse meat found in beef products in Britain; here’s an article excerpt from CNN:
First UK tests reveal scope of horse meat contamination
Over the past week, unauthorized horse meat has been discovered in a variety of products labeled as beef that were sold in supermarkets in countries including Britain, France, Sweden, Switzerland, Germany and Ireland.
… The meat industry was first thrust into the spotlight last month when Irish investigators found horse and pig DNA in hamburger products.
So as you can see, the joke is hilarious.
A pun like this was actually used in Yakitate!! Japan, when Azuma and Kawachi meet the manager of Pantasia’s southern branch for the first time and he demands they bake bread a horse will like. When the horse is satisfied, it cries out 「うま！」, uma! However, instead of the proper kanji for delicious, 美味, 馬 is shown.