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Cynthia MacGregor

"Cynthia MacGregor is one of the world's most joyful and re-wording pun-up girls."

~ Richard Lederer, International Punster of the Year and author of "Get Thee to a Punnery"


"Hilarious. Cynthia MacGregor has the unique ability to make one one-liner after the next naturally lead into another one-liner, resulting in the inability to stop laughing. You’ll rupture your diaphragm from the spasms, and if you try to read it after surgery, will break all your stitches. Warning: Never try to read more than one chapter at a time."

~ Stan Kegel, Publisher, "Puns of the Day", and a judge of the O. Henry World Championship Pun-Offs


BETCHA DIDN’T KNOW is a PUNderful conglomeration of pun-filled vignettes, covering over 20 topics from Astronomy to Zeus. Cynthia MacGregor’s CYNtillating book is indeed titillating, and it confirms her reputation as the 2005 Punster of the Year.

~ Jim Ertner, Author, Punster of the Year (2009)


Cynthia MacGregor seeks to entertain us in her collection of observations, titled Betcha Didn’t Know, and in a number of respects, she succeeds. That said, the prospective reader should know what this book is actually about, since the title can be a bit misleading. Better we should take a closer squint at the subtitle: A Compundium of Miss Inflammation. That’s right; what we are getting here is not a collection of obscure, yet amusing trivia, but, instead a relentless assault of puns.

Now, as to the art of the pun (and, yes, it is an art form), there are, I believe, three classes of people. On one hand, you have the least receptive class: those who truly despise puns, maybe consisting of 10% of the population. To those sad souls, I would say, much like our friend, Mr. Policeman, “Move along, folks, nothing to see here.”

At the opposite end of the spectrum, perhaps making up another 10% of the population and almost certainly including the author, you have those people who live for the pun. In that case, you will probably enjoy the dickens out of this book.

As to the remaining 80% of us, we pretend to hate puns, calling them groaners, after the imagined reaction they are meant to provoke, yet we always keep our ears open and cleaned for the next one. That is not to say we will automatically relish it (and, unlike Ms. MacGregor, I use that term entirely without reference to any hot dog condiments), but we will certainly keep an open mind. For us, this book affords a plethora of puns to consider.

Let me be frank: a good many of them you will probably consider a bit too far to stretch. A great many of them will be ones you have heard before or (like the reviewer) perhaps made yourself at some point in the past. On the other hand, you will almost certainly find a number of puns that are new, fresh and excellent material to be inflicted on your colleagues, as though you, and not the author, thought them up.

 At her best, Cynthia MacGregor puts us in the mood for wordplay. For example, when she singled out “Abe Lincohen” as our first Jewish president, the thought occurred to me: of course he was. After all, wasn’t he shot in the temple? And any book that engages us in any way, be it whimsy, anger, sentiment or laughter is a book worth reading.

 ~ Thomas Cleveland Lane, Poet


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